Noir/Chroma Spotlight:Peter Dušek

Jan 3 – Feb 28 2019

Opening reception January 17 2019

Peter Dušek, Alan Dunlop, Susan Kerr, Kerry Hayes, Marlene Hilton Moore, Leah Oates

Hush

Hush

What is your process

My process is one of great searching for a something in nature, uncluttered, yet in perfect balance, that best represents the essence of the world. I try to look for the small, overlooked aspects, and rarely the obvious. These elements can be found everywhere, but they are often lost among nature’s or manmade chaos, so it is difficult to find them in a way that they can be isolated and shown to the viewer. My motto is “as little as possible, as much as necessary” leading to the perfect balance between too little and too much. I often find myself, like a painter, subtracting from what I see, whether it’s in the camera using camera placement, darkness, fog or a snow storm to hide or reveal “just enough”. Later, on the computer, I often subtract clutter that distracts; clutter that when looking at the scene, the eye may see but the mind ignores. I often photograph in the winter on snow, using its lightness, along with the sky, as an empty canvas, only adding the “brush strokes” of the objects that I want to show.

Do you see common themes in all of your work

My work is about space, emptiness, moderation and how something that is “less” can be more powerful, whether in art or in life. It’s a commentary about how, in our modern times, we are under a constant barrage of media screaming for our attention, whether it’s loud sounds, loud colours, loud advertisements or even loud food. In this cacophony, the subtle beauty and meaning of life is fading away. We are pushed to clutter up our minds and precious time with as much as possible from mindless clicking on the internet to cluttering up our every moment with activity and even filling every inch of our homes with stuff. We have been reduced to mindless consumption machines. At work, we produce, and the rest of the time, we consume. This is not good for the planet or our society. Is it all really necessary for happiness? More and more, we can never just “be”. Instead, we constantly react to what is thrust upon us, usually not of our choice. It dulls the senses and mind and makes it impossible for us to think about what really matters to us. My goal is to create artwork that creates a feeling of space and serenity that is the perfect counterpoint to our busy lives. Something that shows us that it is the space between things that gives us pause to create meaning for everything we do and perhaps even lead us to happiness.
In your opinion, what makes an image powerful

An image is powerful if it has both feeling and meaning. Ultimately, one of the main the purposes of art is to show people what things feel like, rather than what they look like. We are inundated with images of what things look like; millions are uploaded to the internet every day. The rare photograph shows what something feels like and strikes a chord in the heart of the viewer. That takes careful thought and planning. Great art must also have a meaning. By meaning, I don’t necessarily mean a literal meaning; it could be an artistic or conceptual meaning. The image must be about something, whether it’s a commentary on patterns (or chaos) in nature, man-made creations, or abstract ideas or telling us something about life and the world we live in. A truly great image shows us what we have never thought about before or new ways to think about things we are familiar with. An image needs a strong, to use a musical term, “hook”, to bring us in at the start, but then it needs subtleties that keep us wanting to look at it again and again, so that it first blooms and then simmers in our minds.

 

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