Paul Santoleri

Peace Through Imagination by Paul Santoleri. Photo by Jack Ramsdale.

The work is a way to keep time, to maintain an awareness of my own relationship to my inner and outer world. I incorporate objects that I collect, images from dreams, flowers blooming and decaying in my backyard, stories and postindustrial waste, and anything else that slips out of my brush and through my line. The images are loosely in the tradition of landscape, and often mountainous and dense. I wish the works to feel and be organic, to have no beginning and no end, to reflect a repetitive action, like the act of art-making itself. I often reflect on the beauty in decay in my drawings, and the landscape gives way to a deeper storyline that both disturbs and intrigues me. The work inevitably reflects my own views of the planet’s demise, and sometimes I use the flower as a metaphor for the life and death cycle of the natural world. But because I don’t see a distinction between people and nature, I find that the cycle itself is awesome,  but sometimes repulsive or magical,  like the potential nature of artwork itself. I travel often to challenge my senses to open up and breathe freely.

I often draw in response to the surface, and my surroundings, borrowing lines and images from my environs in an effort to enable the work to create itself, with me as the hand and mind through which it passes. Work is made in layers, and I will frequently use a found object as my surface for a painting, drawing, fresco, or assemblage. The density that I favor reflects an overloaded experience. Drawing for me is about rhythms, repetitions that build a narrative, the forms lately have spun into abstractions based on emotions, patterns, movement  and direct response based on instinct. These have been presented as room drawings, where the viewer experiences the work by walking through it. Consequently the pieces become part of the architecture in which they exist, like room sculptures they grow out of the walls using line and objects to carry their weight.

Last updated: Feb 15, 2017