Philip Catania
  • Male
  • Garrattsville, NY
  • United States
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Philip Catania---Artist Statement

     As an artist from Central New York State, I create abstract surrealistic paintings using figures and flowers.  Living on a farm allows me to utilize my best source of inspiration, nature.  Because of the complexity in my work, each completed canvas tends to reinvent itself over time.

    Drawings are the starting point for my paintings' journeys.  I start with one or more sketches until I complete a design I am satisfied with.  Then I transfer the idea to canvas.  Paint is a very powerful medium because it brings a drawing to the ultimate in terms of depth.  Oil paints have a very original spirit.

     I draw a drawing.  I paint the resulting painting.  Then I look back at the sketch and compare the two.  For me painting opens a doorway to a cerebral vision, making my mind go spiritually deeper which allows me to tap into the essence of my soul.  The process of mixing colors and brushing paint onto a canvas allows my thoughts to formulate ethereal ideas to produce substantial identities within my painting, giving tangibility to beings from the world beyond.  Oil paint has lots of nuances.  Brushing the oil mixture onto a canvas brings a dynamic reality to the completed piece.  The finished painting becomes more involved than my original depiction could ever be.  The result is a powerful statement.  Drawings are pale imitations of the final oil painting.

     To create my finished pieces, I use flowers and figures from my sketches or drawings.  Fantasy, figures, and flowers typify life's journey from birth to death.  Figure drawing is the ultimate key to art because the human figure is a study in geometry.  Drawings of the human body communicate ideas about the nature of humanity.  Flowers are colorful and cheerful, and they fill my heart with hope...the emotional feeling people need to fully live life.  But my mind and my soul are totally captivated by my surrealistic fantasy work!  Fantasy opens doors to other worlds where anamorphic shapes and figures rule.  Wonder and delight develop as each treasure emerges from my paintbrush.  I love it!  Art is therapy for the mind and the soul.   

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At 3:32pm on March 25, 2012, julie keller said…

hi philip, i'm taken with your expression of the process you go through, how oil painting takes on a birthing life of its own and allows you wander in that state of mind between reality and fantasy that is so intoxicating.  most of us have an unspoken "ritual" that helps us get there and it sounds like drawing is that for you.  humans have forever ritualized entry into that primal world.  sometimes i  think we are overly academic about what is historically our deeper humanity which i think you captured in your statement. i'm not saying both aren't valuable. the works are very erotic, enfolded, organically inseparable elements, lots of eyes, stimulating.


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