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curtis bartone

My paintings, drawings, and prints focus on the uneasy relationship between human beings and the natural world, exploring the idea of wilderness and how it has changed from being a real place—mysterious, unknown, and pristine—to a distorted fiction . . . My recent pieces fuse Italian Renaissance painting, 17th-century Dutch still life, 19th-century scientific illustration with a twenty-first century aesthetic informed by photography and mass media to explore and to question our attempts to tame, control, and consume our surroundings. Painting, drawing  and printmaking, filtered through art history and mass media, still have the potential to make sense of seemingly disparate elements, revealing connections, beauty, and order in apparent disharmony. It is also through this process of image-making that I am forced to question and re-examine many of my preconceptions—like the difference between native and invasive, wild and domestic, or beautiful and ugly.

. . . Working in Calabria and incorporating that landscape into my work would add a personal element to my work since I have a personal connection to southern italy. . . Although I have been to Italy several times, I have never been to southern Italy. Beyond this, by having time to experience the landscape directly, my work would respond to tensions beyond man-made versus wild—and address the preservation of our own history versus “progress”. In transition areas where sprawl, new development, development past, and industry contrasts with the “natural” landscape I can explore the not-so-clear ideas of what “belongs” and what does not.

curtis bartone: Forbidden. Lithograph

curtis bartone: Lowcountry. Lithograph

curtis bartone: Strike. Lithograph

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Alexis Moore permalink
    September 2, 2010 3:24 am

    Gripping juxtapositions of toxic and almost quaint images. Baneful objects are transformed into a luxuriant wilderness on the brink of subduing human civilization. Whatever their true message, these images are stunning.

  2. Linda McCane permalink
    September 2, 2010 12:23 am

    Curtis’ work speaks elegantly about our place in this world and how we choose to explain and make sense of our position in it. His images are both beautiful and haunting… not to mention technically superb!

  3. carolyn axtman permalink
    September 1, 2010 8:35 pm

    Thoughtful images that reflect our exploitation of nature. Curtis has managed to bring together disparate elements that demands consideration of the inevitable results of short term gain over long term sustainability.

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