Many exceptional examples of fine art begin with nature, plus a profound understanding of composition, surface, color and texture. To render the three-dimensional world, and sometimes the greater forces of nature as well, on to a two-dimensional plane and establish a new reality is an exacting challenge.
Topher Straus begins with a photo, often one from a personal, outdoor experience, or seeks a compelling reference image to make a new photographic collage from which he bases his work. These images connect with him on an intimate level and require a kind of immersion of self, the enveloping sense of place fueling his creativity.
“Once I’ve obsessed over the minute details,” said Straus, “and feel content with the quality and composition of the digital painting, I sublimate the painting onto an aluminum sheet. The sublimation process bonds dye to the aluminum on a molecular level. Then the sheet is coated in a glossy resin, to give it a partially mirrored finish. The work is now preserved for at least the next 100 years.”
What the artist has discovered is that many viewers and collectors have their own personal relationships to these iconic places, allowing for a wide range of individual response. People connect, each in their own way. For Straus, what begins as a deeply personal record of a memorable time and place, inevitably becomes a transcendent, universal message.