Peter C. Brandt
Art Statement: Why do I paint my architectural photographs ?
I have always loved paintings and have admired painters like Monet, Mondrian, and Wassily Kandinsky, as well as other classical realists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and the Hudson School of Art like Fredrick Church, Thomas Cole, and Alber Bierstadt.
When I discovered photography during my High School time, I concentrated on photographing, darkroom procedures, and experimenting. This was my laboratory!
After learning a procedure, I broke the rules and did things way off, like printing negatives onto litho film as my final image, processing the litho film in print developer for only 45 seconds. Also, I used bleach (Potassium Ferrocyinide) to alter contrast, highlight certain details and even make color tones in the over all image.
During this time of photographic discovery, I still loved going to museums to admire and to study the paintings. I looked at the composition, propping, the lighting, and mood. With the realist paintings, I often tried to imagine myself, there in the paintings.
I didn’t realize I was creating “a body of work” when I photographed abstract things. But I did this since the beginning of my image making. I was in NYC in my 40’s when I saw other photographers showing their personal projects in slide shows. Then I realized, that I had another “body of work” as well. At that time, I thought my body of work was only my portfolio of previous photography jobs, the portfolio of what I showed my clients.
It was about 10 years ago that I discovered the idea of painting on top of my photographs with a computer. I was experimenting in an exercise to find something new, and this idea stuck with me. I remember at the time of discovery, I felt guilty for having so much fun.
I do it with joy, not out of anything frustrating. The colors reflect my mood at the time of painting. Some tell me they like my softer color use, however bright colors reflect a happy, positive moment and perhaps a vigorous approach that speaks more about my personality.
I try to put my mind at rest, turn-off my analytical mind, and just paint by instinct.