About the piece
About the artist
Henry Rowland began painting in the late 60's. He studied fine art painting and photography at The Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C. in 1970-71 and won First Prize in the Contemporary Abstract Painting category in 1971. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in 1978 where he continued studying fine art but also studied music, production and film making. This sparked a career in the arts which has lasted to this day.
His paintings have found homes in private collections in Washington D.C., London, New York and Paris. His earlier works were mostly oil and acrylic on canvas.
Rowland states, "As a painter, I was primarily interested in abstract surrealist painting. I was very inspired by Chilean master Roberto Matta who’s paintings seemed to me like gateways to other dimensions in both the figurative and psychological sense. I became fascinated at how working with paint textures and layers allows images to emerge from the canvas—forms, shapes, faces seeming to appear from the shadows. Anyone familiar with Matta's works knows how intriguing, mysterious, and evocative those surreal images are. For me, working in the abstract-surrealist tradition is more about connecting with the imagination and the unconscious than the literal. Lately, I am fond of using “space and luminosity” as a metaphor for freedom, and exploring “depth and shadow” as a metaphor of our quest to find it."
"My newest work is working directly with light—making paintings onto "digital film" instead of a canvas and "painting" with various light sources. For lack of a better term I call these "photo-light-paintings". I paint large high resolution images with light using a DSLR camera."
"The light paintings are done with real light sources, occasionally shooting multiple exposures and then adjusting exposure, focus, depth of field, etc. to create layers and compositions that are very similar to working with paint. I only use Photoshop to dial-in the colors I'm looking for. I don't generate any of the images digitally. I end up with a type of "photo-painting" that still yields the depth, layers, movement, color and composition that I'd get painting with brushes."
An interesting aspect of Rowland's new "photo light paintings" is that, being based in a digital medium, they are scalable and can be rendered from very small to very large sizes and retain their full resolution and clarity. Rowland says, "These light paintings can be output as original photo-prints onto canvas, paper, or metal. Regardless of the medium, they look incredible."