An artist’s studio is a place where beauty is brought into being from the most mundane of ingredients. Miro thought of his studio as “a vegetable garden, where things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to water.” Some artists demand large studios, some small. Some want light, others not. Some consider the outdoors to be their studios.
Whatever the individual preference, art comes into existence someplace. That place is surely marked by the birth throes of creativity. Tools, fragments of disassembled still-lifes, and drips of paint all testify to what has happened, but who listens? Does the artist notice the detritus? Do the objects stuck in the corners or peering out from under the tables make their imprint on the new works-in-progress?
I explored these questions by visiting the studios of working painters. Left alone, I looked not at the art being created but at the spaces between, the floors where they had rested, the tables where brushes had been cleaned, the shelves where rags were stored, the paper, materials, objects, paints, cleaners — the stuff lying around and waiting to be swept up, discarded, or used again someday. I found beauty outside of the canvases but am left wondering – does beauty result from the creation of art in particular, or is it an inevitable result of all human activity?
Dennis Geller is a Fine Art photographer in the Boston area. His work often begins as street photography, and frequently explores the ambiguities of the relationships between objects and their local environment. He also confesses a special fondness for examining the world at very small scales.
Geller has taken classes and workshops at the New England School of Photography, The Griffin Museum and Boston Photography Workshops. His work has appeared in juried shows at the Garrison (N.Y.) Arts Center and the Plymouth (MA) Center for the Arts. He was co-photographer for the monograph “A Parent’s Hip-pocket Guide to Gymnastics” and is currently working on a book featuring his photographs of New England homes and cuisine. His careers outside of photography have involved developing and teaching about complex systems in areas such as publishing, chemical analysis and national defense.
Contact Dennis Geller