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Monday, February 28, 2011

Featured Artist...John A. Benigno

"For me, the art and craft of photography are self taught.  Primary influences come from the writings and works of Porter, Feininger, Steichen, and Strand, to name a few."
These are the opening lines of this week's featured artist, John A. Benigno. Taken from his resume, they help to define the inner vision he expresses on paper. More than pictures, they strike me as portraits of the souls who either have or still occupy those spaces.

These are from his collection,"Adobe Churches".

"Adobe is among the most ancient of building materials.  Of the earth, and in need of constant care, 
it is ideal for structures determined to endure as expressions of faith and culture.There are hundreds of adobe churches scattered throughout the high desert of the American Southwest.  A few, still in existence, date back to the mid-1700's, while many others were established as far back as the early 1800's.  Some are large, imposing structures, but most, built by parishioners, are small and modest. Each is unique and worth exploring.  They stand as symbols of deep faith, homage to centuries old customs still practiced in towns and villages found throughout New Mexico."

John's interest in photography started as a child. His dad brought him one of the first Polaroid cameras. Toady he teaches photography at several Community Arts Centers in Pennsylvania. His work appears in many galleries and private collections throughout the country and published in various magazines.

Classic in approach, film and darkroom, today he crosses over to digital output. Still using film, he scans and then applies his formula in Photoshop, recreating his toned or tea stained technique that he applied to his silver prints. 

"Perhaps, because much of my work tends towards realism, my photographs often are described as traditional.  In fact, many of my primary influences come from the writings and works of photography early masters, including Porter, Feininger, Steichen, and Strand, to name a few.
While I welcome a comparison to the past, realism is merely a means to an end.  Rather, I believe that my artistic vision is driven more by my background in the social sciences, especially anthropology and history, than by my great admiration for photography's early masters.My real interest is to capture timeless moments in the landscape, and, if the land has been influenced by man, to stimulate curiosity about how, when and why." 
His other works include landscapes from the Southwest,the Amish country,Seascapes to name a few. His theme follows throughout as does his philosophy.

"Making a photograph is a struggle between my mind’s eye and the subject.  Eventually, they merge in a peaceful coexistence.  The resulting photograph becomes more than the subject.  The viewer can’t possibly travel to this place with me -- it is mine.  Instead, hopefully, the image before them will ignite their own internal journey to a time and place of their own. The key is to look"

More of his works can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, beautiful images and story!


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