Technology is a key component in my work. I began experimenting with the photographic medium while pursuing a fine arts degree at California State University of Long Beach. My interest in advancing this medium and its process led to printing on aluminum a surface that adds depth and texture to my images.
My artistic vision grew out of my relationship to and exploration of Los Angeles. I present a fresh view of this city's design, systems and grid-lock through my inspired perspective on a familiar urban landscape. I chose to print on metal because I feel that through this process the modern urban industrialization that makes up Los Angeles is further emphasized.
Contemporary artist and photographer Stephan Canthal became involved in the art of photography while studying architecture at the University of Southern California in 1991. He transferred to California State University, Long Beach in 1994 to pursue a Fine Arts degree in photography. His signature iconographic images of industrial Los Angeles are suggestive of his architectural background and trained eye for structure, space, and substrate. With his fresh, imaginative approach to photography, Canthal began to experiment with unconventional photographic mediums. He wanted to merge traditional photography and modern art, breaking old rules through original composition and cutting-edge presentation.
His innovative choice of metal as a photographic medium is unique and produces a sleek, nearly three-dimensional image that has generated widespread praise. Responding to his use of metal, one collector and Canthal enthusiast says, "I like the new, clean, contemporary medium used to re-conceptualize the old craft of photography." A business owner who displays Canthal's work in his office explains his choice: "I wanted my clients to feel like they are surrounded with new, progressive ideas; they will not find traditional ways of thinking at my office."
Complex and time consuming, the physical transfer of an image onto aluminum has taken Canthal six years to fully develop. By experimenting with every aspect and step of his process, he has recently perfected his original concept.
His artistic vision involves the creation not only of an image, but the careful construction of an entire piece of art. Canthal personally designs and creates every piece of art himself. Each piece is an original; the result of weeks of work to visualize, design, research, shoot, manipulate, print, and texture his images.
Where will his artistic vision lead him in the future? Canthal envisions his art evolving in several ways: the creation of large-scale, life-sized artwork, and further experimentation with new substrates. He envisions working with Plexiglas to capture motion. He even has a vision for the use of cardboard. He also wants to explore artwork that is sculptural in nature and interactive in its space.
What sets him apart? His "unique sense of composition," his skillful, realistic depictions of the beauty and rhythm of LA, and in Canthal's own words, his "original approach to modern photography."