Phil Gross Statement
For the past twenty years I have been involved in the art of filmmaking. In 1997 I worked as a cinematographer for a documentary about the northern Californian painter, Gregory Kondos. The more I filmed the artist, the more I wanted to join him…and so I did.
As a former geologist I spent a great deal of time studying and dissecting landscapes. That coupled with my experience in filmmaking and theater together inspire what ultimately ends up on my canvas. My compositions often contain re-occurring characteristics; low or high angle perspectives, compressed telescopic viewpoints, strong contrast in lighting, objects along the foreground (like a telephone pole) that draw you in by bracketing the edge (repoussoir) and a practice called “contre jour” meaning painting into or “against” the daylight. My goal is to bring a landscape forward, vertically stretch it, imbue it with saturated colors and drama so that you ‘the viewer’ feel you are standing in and surrounded by it rather than viewing it from afar. Its front row orchestra.