Manuel J Branco, Boston, MA Member Since March 2007 Artist Statement I attended The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University in the late 70's. I majored in painting, sculpture and had some fascination with ceramics and certainly photography, which at the time, was just coming into its own as an accepted, major, artistic medium. I walked away from art school, at the end of my senior year, believing it had little or nothing to do with creating art. You either create art or you don't. I've studied art, design and aesthetics all my life. I specialize in abstraction. I like the cutting edge of everything creative. I've always been a student of the classics but admire those who break new ground; artists like, Andres Serrano, Thomas Struth, Cy Twombly, Edward Burtynsky, Alberto Giacometti, and most notably Francis Bacon.
Someone once asked me: “Where do you find your images? Where do you go to take your photographs?” “Well“, I said “anywhere and everywhere.” Art's all around us - It‘s everywhere! We walk by it every day and sometime it can be found in even the most unlikely places, like Dumpsters, Trash and Rubble. The trick of course, is recognizing it. There are always certain moments that stand out as photo opts, whether it be a beautiful model, a majestic vista, flowers, or just a casual setting. But that’s not what interests me, that is, “pretty pictures“ of a conventional sort. It’s too easy. I take my camera everywhere, but what I’m looking for is usually not immediately apparent. I look for symmetry in disorder. I look for beauty in what’s ugly. I look for color, patterns, texture. I look for settings that have a story to tell, of abuse and toil about them, even in machines or as in an inanimate object. I experiment, I play. I look for order in chaos. I specialize in abstraction and what’s ephemeral. I’m a hopeless romantic but you’d never know it looking at my photography I suppose. I like pushing the envelope of what a photograph can be. Something that approaches painting or sculpture. Images that evoke some intellectual level of form or color or context. Images of the Found Object.
It gets complicated, but I always know what I’m looking for (or looking at). Many of my images can be referenced by my influences. That is, they oftentimes reflect my influences and my influences are many. Beauty is always evolving. It’s not a static concept. I think great artists like Francis Bacon and Andres Serrano, among others, do us immeasurable good by expanding our view on what beauty is. They interrogate it. They expand on what beauty can be by compelling us with a singular style and vision that oftentimes taps into the consciousness of a culture, and sometimes expose us to the underbelly of the world. You don’t do that by standing still, by being satisfied or complacent with social convention of what’s acceptable. Art is discovery born from the play of a singular narrative. This is my narrative. This is my play.
My website: http://www.manuelbranco.com
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"Protect Me From What I Want" - Jenny Holzer (Truisms)
“Style is the perfection of a point of view.” - Richard Eberhart
"Play is the highest form of research" - Albert Einstein