Issue 33 Artist Statement
Paul and John Paul Caponigro
The works of father and son Paul Caponigro and John Paul Caponigro were featured in a paired photographic exhibit entitled Two Generations.
Paul Caponigro’s sensitivity to the tonal scale and intense mystical sensibility bring to light images that he describes as “dreams locked in silver.” Working with traditional large format cameras in black-and-white film, his compositions capture the patterns and forms found in nature as well as monuments people make in response to them.
John Paul Caponigro is a process artist exploring evolving new media. He uses light as both a physical and psychological force to explore the intangible—space, time, energy—and their extensions into spiritual dimensions. His dreamlike images present the external and the internal comingled as if one.
“Often I see the materials of photography as being a type of terrain. Emulsions, liquid developers, silver salts, and fixers interact and make up a landscape which I need to explore in my mind’s eye if I am to manifest an artful image in silver. Light strikes silvered emulsions and lenses reshape the forms riding on the rays which affect film. This work of transformation etches and shapes a landscape in the surface of the emulsion. Herein can be a place of conceiving, where mind and imagination might combine with the world of feeling to bring a new object into being. It is here also that overtones from the symbolic language of the medieval alchemist might be apprehended…. I encourage the viewer to allow the art to flow and take on a meaning needing no explanatory notes.”
Paul Caponigro, 1978
“The process of creating these images is like dreaming while I’m awake… I am not encouraging people to reshape or make the land that surrounds and shelters us. I am encouraging people to make land a part of themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And I am encouraging people to take an active hand in reshaping the landscapes within themselves.” The series called “Alignment” explores the process of finding our place in the universe, one could say finding home.
John Paul Caponigro, 2017
All images used by permission of the artist