Works by Frank DePietro
March 31, 2023 - April 30, 2023
“I look at nature for inspiration and consider what strikes me as compositionally impactful. The lotus plant easily lends itself to what I am trying to accomplish visually. It provides a seemingly endless possibility of variation. The lines, forms and shapes allow for intriguing use of positive and negative space. The reflection of light passing through and bouncing off of leaves, flowers and seed pods creates opportunity for tonal and color variation. These elements allow me to explore a dynamic of flatness and illusion within the surface of the painting. All of this is encompassed by the portrayal of the plant itself, dictating a mood or sensibility of the work based on its state of existence. I have always been interested in the visual history of painting. The evolution of thought, and how painters have utilized and built upon periods and movements that predicated them. I try to incorporate this into my work, from traditional representational techniques to concepts of Modernism, Abstract Expressionism and Color field painting. Conceptually, my work is derived in a manner similar to traditional and plein air landscape painting. It is an attempt to capture time, through the changes in light and color displayed in the natural world. Opposed to taking in the vastness of my surroundings, I treat nature as more of a still life. The focus is on the unique characteristics of individual plant forms that collectively reveal these more vast changes. My initial reaction to any subject matter is visual. I process the elements of the landscape in front of me, then frame it through the viewfinder of a camera for my photo reference. My photos are then cropped and edited in relation to align with elements of painting that I feel will create compelling compositions. My sentiments align with many aspects of the inherent symbolism of my subjects. My intention is a simple portrayal of existence through the cyclical aspects of life. The body of work is a quiet contemplation on the observations of the perennial nature of plants, in correlation to emotional and intellectual bonds we cast upon them. Revelations of change and a full circle of life are encompassed within its season of being. The plant first displays a vigorous growth of foliage, later the beauty of the bloom, followed by signs of decay and then a regeneration. My appreciation and respect for each visible transition in the life cycle has evolved and grown throughout my paintings, each element serving a distinct role essential to an ultimate purpose”.
Image Credit: Frank DePietro, Lotus Number 60, oil on canvas.