Artist Statement

September 4, 2014       Bart Palisi

I use a variety of materials in my art. These include wood, plywood, sand, cloth, and objects found in the plant, animal or mineral environment. I use these materials to enhance the statements I make about nature or because of the feelings I get from working with them.

My paintings frequently are about the structure of cities. Modern buildings are interesting because of their clean lines and unique forms. The skylines which result from the arrangement of buildings can be called "cityscapes." Imaginary models of cityscapes can be painted in two dimensions on a flat surface, or they can be constructed and painted in three dimensions using wood or other suitable materials. I find that painting patterns and designs into imaginary city structures creates varied and exciting visual effects.

Rural landscapes, especially mountains, can be imagined and painted with similar techniques and conceptual goals. They can be seen as broad structures forming skylines with unique and interesting shapes and colors. They represent the power and timelessness of the earth whereas cityscapes depict how humans have exercised their power over the material world.

The desert as a subject presents a different attitude than city or mountain skylines. Deserts are characterized as relatively flat and having endless horizon lines. The colors of the desert are often depicted as warm (reds, browns, and ochre), but barren of life, rather than having the cool images of the mountains or cities. In reality, deserts are variable and have many forms of life. I often paint desert scenes as landscapes, and to the extent I focus on individuals, they are the plants and animals of the desert. These include succulents and cacti, and animals such as reptiles, coyotes, roadrunners, and raptors.

These three environments (cities, mountains, and deserts) may intrude on each other, interact and force changes in each other. For example, urban places such as in Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Los Angeles invade the desert. However, the reverse may also happen. Cities may eventually become deserts. Desert flora and fauna can repopulate urban places. Invasion has never been a one way process.

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