Cory C. Dangerfield
As an artist Cory C. Dangerfield demonstrates mastery and an accomplished versatility in a variety of media. His knowledge of a wide range of artistic disciplines, from the replication of ancient hand built wood fired ceramics to elements of three dimensional design, display a passion for expressing his personal journey through life. What initially may be perceived as a more traditional approach to visual expression, upon closer inspection reveals the work of a man who knows the culture and society in which he resides and presents us with the shared inner yearning for what once was. Clearly there is a love for all things ancient apparent in all his work.
The inviting realism of Mr. Dangerfield’s landscapes embody a traditional approach towards painting. The subtle juxtaposition of value and contrast within his palette are revealed. We begin to see through the presented realism into a layer of abstraction, a jazzy subterfuge of line and color not often revealed when merely viewing photographs of his work. If the adage of ‘the devil is in the details’ is indeed true, Dangerfield journeys beyond this level of representation into a world of exploding color and nuance.
In speaking of his approach to new work, Dangerfield explains, “Although the end result could be perceived by the viewer as a more traditional product, the process I involve myself in is entirely conceptual when I begin. First, most important is, I must experience the place I paint. It is within these moments that the painting is really born. I might hear a distant clap of thunder. A warm wind might blow against my face or I might wonder at the spirit that is present in the glow of shadow upon the land. I ‘sense’ the place I am in. If I perceive a subject that ‘calls out’ to be remembered, I may wander the surrounding area, viewing the subject from all angles. It is imperative I come to know the place… that I establish a memory, for that is what my work is about. One might say I’m a ‘memorial’ landscape artist.”
Dangerfield readily admits to using photographs to record his experience. “I want to be ‘true’ to the place I represent, at least in the beginning. I start out utilizing the visual parameters of that area, knowing full well that eventually the photograph will be retired. The composition may be altered and adjusted, the place in the painting will eventually begin to have its own soul . The layout and palette often become influenced by my memory.” These works become further altered when the artist begins to implement the subliminal subtext of his own personal history within the work with often surprising and unexpected results.
His paintings are about the sensation of place. For the viewer they become visual recordings of not only the memory of a deeply personal experience of one particular moment of time and nature, but a shared testimony of the sounds, smells, and feel of that memory. He shares with us a personal yearning for the land that exists for us beyond the realm of mere imagery. In the spirit of the ‘romantic landscape’ we sense nostalgia behind the image, a haunting remembrance of things primal and ancient. He returns us to a time when we also walked the land and recognized the spirit of place.