Gary Wagner

Born in: 1950 Chicago, IL, USA
Lives in: Trinidad, CA, USA
Describe your art in three words: Black & White Landscape
Education: Bachelor of Art, Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, CA USA Master of Science, Brooks Institute of Photography. Santa Barbara, CA USA
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"Landscapes, seascapes, and the world around me are the studios I use for my photographic work. I find the freedom and inspiration to create my interpretations of the natural elements and scenic vistas at these locations. As an artist, I have tried not only to pay respect to the natural order and beauty of the earth but also to show my vision of land, sea, and light."

What themes does your work involve?
Nature and the landscape are an exciting and challenging environment to work in, for it is constantly changing with the light of the day and the changing seasons. On many occasions, I have revisited my favorite locations repeatedly throughout the year and found them to be completely different in their appearance, from the sand on the beach, the depth of water in the streams, or the light striking the rocks. This environment and the many faces it reveals, bring me endless excitement for creating my art.
Describe your creative process.
I work exclusively in black and white. This medium best relates the landscape’s shapes, lines, and tones and more fully captures what I am viewing when I look at a scene. My work process is multi-dimensional starting with vision and capturing and concluding with designing and expanding from vision to print. I find the creation of photographic art today to offer endless possibilities for creativity and the making and sharing of creative expression. For many years my art centered on the techniques of the process for making an image but for the last decades my work has been defined by my personal vision of exploring new looks to expand my work from beyond the seen to the unseen. I am always looking for what is beyond the surface of the scene and how I can portray further creativity.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Nature and the landscape influence my work. Exploring new views of the landscape brings me excitement and satisfaction. New views can sometimes mean new locations and sometimes it means seeing familiar scenes with a new vision. I am always looking for exciting and diverse ways to portray the landscape and to share my visions.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art starts with a scene and personal vision that excites me to capture and create. Good art takes that personal vision and through the final execution creates an artistic piece with emotional impact for the artist and the viewer.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist today is to make and share one’s vision and creative process with viewers. The artist gives their interpretation of the world around us sharing beauty and meaning through their art. My choice to be an artist is a lifelong undertaking. I choose to create and make art for personal excitement and satisfaction. Art and photography have been my calling and vocation.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist