Those’re photographs?!? The Artwork of Terry Pisel

This Friday is the reception for artist Terry Pisel’s November show at Practical Art and any expectations you might have for heading into a photography exhibition… leave ’em at the door.  Mats? Frames? Crisp, shine & sheen? Noticeably absent. Pisel’s works on canvas more closely resembles the weathered and crumpled objects that old photographs can become through the rigors of wallets, pockets, age, exposure, and other abuses. And they’re large. His image of the Hayden Flour Mill spans 3′ x 4′.

Pisel’s process involves photographing a site and then digitally manipulating the images before printing.  He uses an acrylic gel medium to transfer the printed image to canvas, patinas the surface with paint and drywall compound, and sands the surface down for an ‘aged-paint look’. This particular series, “Valley of the Sun”, pays homage to that burning ball of gas in the sky with the inclusion of gold leaf sporadically mottling the picture plane with amorphous shapes and strong radials of shimmering gold and vibrant verdigris.

How did he come to create a series depicting Phoenix?  A couple of years ago, Pisel began creating artistic documents of his travels using this process; specifically, there was a series on Chicago that he exhibited in our space in March 2011.  This past year, he decided to undertake the challenge particular to an Arizona native: seeing Phoenix with fresh eyes.  Pisel reintroduces the city that we all know and love with images of some of its more unique features set against its biggest asset, the sky.

Terry Pisel’s show, “The Valley of the Sun”, will be on display at Practical Art through the month of November. The reception is this Friday, the 9th, from 7pm-9pm.


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