Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Auckland Painter Steven Sacatos - Art Prints & Canvas Prints

PonsonbyAuckland painter Steven Sacatos has released a series of prints of contemporary Auckland that are printed onto either fine art paper or directly onto genuine artists' canvas. Sacatos says he has spent the last twenty years "doing the starving artist thing" and returned to Auckland in 2006 after spending many years painting in Crete.

Sacatos' prints bring a fresh eye to some of Auckland's favourite places - pictured are Steven's views of a Sunday morning in Ponsonby and of Mt Eden. We are delighted to add Steven's work to the Auckland Prints Mt Edencollection at New Zealand's specialist art print store - we now have just on 90 different prints of Auckland in stock.

1 comment:

  1. Just saw the prints on the site, and the article, it all looks good. As the pictures are pretty much the same look and technique, I thought to give a general outline on the idea/philosophy behind them, rather than say basically the same thing five times. As for an extended bio, there isn't much to tell, but I did want to clear up one other point - I completed the first the year at ELAM, (well, anybody can) but I was failed that year, rather than failing to complete the year as it now says. Anyway, here's the outline.

    These paintings are part of a series I've been working on now on and off for about twenty years, but it's only in the past five years or so they've taken on the look they now have, and one that I'm happier with.

    The origin for the idea of these pictures came to me one day when I was forced to walk the five miles from the center of Auckland City to my home in Mt Albert as I was short on the bus fare. (40 cents? Don't remember.) And though I'd made the trip so many times by bus, I'd never actually walked through that space, unstitching the distance step by step, and it changed the experience of the landscape, and how I looked at it.

    That night, as I lay in bed, instead of trying to figure out how I was ever going to rig up a hot date with Kate Bush, the whole passage of the walk was in my head, and I'd thought that it'd be fun, somehow, to try and glom it all together into one picture; to give the far-away as much importance, and same detail as the close, to show things from above, from the side, because that's what you see, as you pass through a landscape. (Also, I had a thing for flying when I was a kid - that must have been part of it.) I settled with the idea to show the experience of a landscape, rather than the look of it, with an obvious, but playful, mauling of the rules of perspective, scale, and logic.

    To get it right took some time. I tried a lot of looks and approaches. Painting is essentially a craft, and I was without a teacher. A lot of time, material, and pieces were lost, and before I sound too heroic, I'd say it was more just being curious, as to how these things would/could look. I ended up taking pages out of Greek and Russian Folk Art, cartooning, American Regionalist painting, and others besides. The technique is plain simple old light on dark - the classic tempera Icon approach, with no glazes or transparencies. I used acrylic because it dries quickly and lends itself to this approach.

    Also, I want to say that it was very important for me that these pictures would be understood, and enjoyed by anybody who looked at them, with no prior knowledge or expertise in art necessary. I mean this in the sense that you don't need to be a musicologist to enjoy Cole Porter, or Offenbach, for that matter. If a picture is worth its salt, it'll stand by itself.

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