Moderno Landscapes Exhibition at Fresno City Hall

The present show embodies a continuing development of my experimentation with the representational abstraction of depicted landscapes. In early 2004 the collection of works consisted of various landscapes both real and imaginary. Executed in soft pastels, these were studies in linear perspective, atmospheric perspective and compositional balance. The following year the collection was donated to Valley PBS (previously KVPT) in Fresno. The same year, one piece entitled ‘Moderno’ received the Best of Show award at the Valley Public Television’s 28th Annual Great TV Auction. Additionally, ‘Moderno’ was redesigned as the event’s poster. While having painted all my life, the events surrounding this one piece were significant, effecting a paradigmatic shift in my self-understanding as an artist. In recognition of this new sense of myself as an artist, I have adopted the name ‘Moderno’ as the permanent label for my work. MODERNO Landscapes Is a collection of paintings depicting various landscape scenes from the Central Valley. The pieces begin as photographs. Using computer graphics, each photograph is enlarged to the size of the final painting, and then digitally enhanced, the hues and contrasts exaggerated over many layers. While some of these enhancements may seem to result in “unnatural” coloring, that is indeed the object of the work: to take the viewer into an enhanced or unnatural landscape, a vibrant puzzling state, with enough pointers to still mark it as natural, e.g. the horizon line, the direction of natural light, depth of field. Finally, these computer-enhanced photographs serve as references to execute the paintings in traditional ways and with traditional materials. Painting from a digitally manipulated reference allows one the freedom to explore color, design, and the possibilities inherent in using modern graphics media. It facilitates a creative conversation between traditional modes of painting and digital design. MODERNO Landscapes is part of this conversation.

© 2020  Moderno by Saul Villegas

All images subject to copyright.

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