Naylor Street, January 22, 2022 – John Mattson
|Dimensions||26 × 20 in|
Archival pigment print
Courtesy of the Artist
After receiving an MFA degree in painting in 1978 I bought my first camera, a Canon AT1, ostensibly to photograph my paintings. I had grown tired of asking photographer friends to record my work and so bought the camera and a cheap tripod and started taking slides of my work (luckily artists no longer have to do this!). I, however, became enamored with the camera itself and began wandering around my town of Arcata, California and started shooting whatever caught my eye. I had no visual agenda or intellectual themes in mind but quickly realized I was most drawn to abstract compositions found on building walls and the quirky, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, juxtapositions of random human arrangements found in neighborhoods and business areas. My process has never changed. I see photography as an exercise in looking really hard to discover unexpected images just below the surface in plain sight.