Intertwined with Nature – an exhibition hosted @ DVAA in Gallery 1
March 7th – 28th
Photography by DVAA member Mark Conti
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7th from 6:00 – 8:00pm
Closing Reception: Sunday, March 25th from 3:00 – 5:00pm
DVAA – 704 Catharine St. Philadelphia, PA 19147
DVAA is proud to host Intertwined with Nature, a photography exhibition by DVAA member Mark Conti. Equally drawn to natural and man-made subjects, often finding recurring forms in disparate images, the subject of Conti’s work is varied. These shared forms suggest series-based imagery which grows from common connections that inform one another and are often an unexpected discovery for Conti. The art, then, is ahead of the artist, enlightening and contributing to further growth. Selection and organization in the camera, and subsequent interpretation by the materials, creates images that invite the viewer to reexamine what is before them as if seeing it for the first time, every time.
Technical aspects of the photographic process are imperative for the production of Conti’s work. Unlike other 2D disciplines, such as painting, where composition grows stroke by stroke in an additive way, photography is an organizational activity driven by selection processes. From the early 1970’s through the mid-2000’s, Conti produced his art by using traditional black and white film, personally developing and printing his work in a traditional darkroom. This earlier manner of working informs his current use of digital imaging technologies, bringing traditional techniques to the digital exposure and printing processes.
In Conti’s words: “My goal is to organize forms and gather light in a way that allows the final image to become its own reality and, as much as possible, serve as its own source of light.”
Bio of the Artist: Mark Conti is a photographer of forests and figures, portraits and the poetry of the human figure, cityscapes and landscapes, and with each click of the camera, his depth of emotion is transferred from the lens to the printed image. Conti has experience with a wide range of photographic processes, such as gum bichromate and cyanotypes, but his current work is focused on digital imaging. He produces his own prints, as he believes strongly that this is a critical element of the overall vision of the artist.
Born and raised in the Philadelphia region, Conti studied at Juniata College and earned a degree in photography and English literature. Continuing his studies throughout his career, Mark’s education included attending photography workshops at several noted institutions including Apeiron, Peters Valley and the Art Kane/Cape May Photographic Workshops with such diverse photographers as Ralph Gibson, Art Kane, Linda Connor, George Tice, Larry Fink, Tom Carabasi and Antonin Kratochvil. From there, Conti went on to teach photography workshops at Juniata College and The Cape May Photographic Workshops.
Conti has been making fine art photographs crossing a wide range of subjects for over 30 years. From his early years at Juniata with a gallery show and valuable experience photo-editing the college yearbook, to pursuing freelance commercial work and commission portraiture throughout his career, Conti has been on a storied photographic journey in both black & white and color. A core focus of Conti’s work in his early years centered on perplexing images that presented fragmentary views of the landscape and man-made objects. This work mirrors the disorienting aspects of life and culture in the late 20th century, and the “macro” landscapes and abstract images challenge viewers to react to a fragmented view of the world and compare it to their own experience. Conti’s photography then expanded to include the human figure.
These photographs combine the earlier works’ fragmentary view of the landscape with the human form. Executed with conventional materials and special techniques using infrared film, his figure work contrasts strong landscape elements with the body, setting the figure in sharp relief from the environment – suggesting isolation while focusing attention on the body’s relationship to the land. Conti’s most recent work explores contour, texture, and color melded with the strong forms present in his earlier work. Executed with digital cameras and pigment print materials, these images combine aspects of both photography and printmaking which have expanded Conti’s boundaries.
ABOUT DVAA: MISSION: Da Vinci Art Alliance (DVAA) provides artists with a community that fosters artistic expression and growth through our exhibitions and programs. VISION: DVAA is a supportive community of artists and creatives focused on capturing the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci. A luminary artist, scientist, architect, engineer, musician and humanitarian, Da Vinci’s curiosity inspires creativity, innovation and collaboration among our membership. Like Leonardo, we ask big questions, ponder complex ideas, experiment with form and create new ways of engaging with and sharing our art.
Thank you to DVAA for the content of this post.
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