The powerful images of mixed-media artist Robert Sturman have a vivid presence that is both other-worldly and deeply rooted in the earthly wonders he has explored so adventurously in his global travels. A spiritual journeyer as well, Sturman is an intuitive creator whose works resonate with an inner vision as much as they reach out to embrace the viewer with tactile, richly hued physicality. Dappled with light, vibrant with texture, at once brimming with narrative voice and sensual immediacy, his art conveys the sense of a moment of a dream distilled so that its magic and mystery can be absorbed at will.
In finding his own artistic signature, Sturman developed and refined an improvisational, labor-intensive process that synthesizes both his photographic and painterly expertise. Each of his pieces begins with an original image created with a Polaroid SX-70 camera, instant photographic film, and meticulously considered lighting. As soon as the image comes out of the camera, Sturman warms it up to keep the chemical emulsions fluid—depending on his locale when shooting, source heat might be the sun in the tropics, or the warmth of his winter coat in cooler climes.
On site wherever he is in the world, Sturman then immediately carves into the still wet and supple surface of the photo with a variety of handmade tools until he feels the image has been manipulated and transformed to its ultimate potential. The piece is later enlarged using an optimally high-resolution scanner, and a process through which none of the original light radiance or color luminosity is lost. Because Sturman chooses his subject matter in advance with its inherent color values in mind, his palette is extraordinary. Coupled with the impressionistic "brushstrokes" of Sturman's hand implements, the result is as pure a fusion of painting and photography as exists anywhere.
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