Landscapes with Water Dan Attoe
“These paintings are a series of landscapes that I’ve been kicking around in my head and in my drawings for a while. Some come from places that I’ve lived in and have personal relationships with, like the North Shore of Lake Superior, the rivers and waterfalls of Washington state and Idaho, and the coast of the Northwestern U.S. Others exist some place in popular culture or in some kind of collective visual vocabulary. With this body of work, I’m playing with the character of these places and trying to make images that have some kind of deeper meaning.”
All of Dan Attoe’s works are fictitious and deliberately composed. The landscapes, geology, light, time of day, and properties of the water – movement, degree of transparency and color – all carry some significance to the artist. Similarly, the appearance and characteristics of the figures also resonate with Attoe. These figures expose distinctive character traits, whether they are embracing the elements with immediate sensitivity by shedding clothes, or protecting themselves from it with clothing and equipment. And some are stand-ins for the artist himself, representing how he would want to interact with the landscape they’re in.
For Landscapes With Water Attoe has created a body of work that revisits several landscapes he has previously explored. This is a departure from his usual practice, in which he always depicts a different environment inhabited by different characters. For Attoe, the challenge of creating fictional images comes when the original idea shifts just as he is trying to pin it down. The image appears in the peripheral view of his imagination, and when he focuses on it, it changes – the light, weather, atmosphere, movement and color are altered. By revisiting these previously explored landscapes Attoe can examine the initial spark of excitement that first made him want to paint them, and can refocus on these elements and discover different possibilities for the character of the scene.
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