(AMERICAN, b. 1962)
Sparky Campanella is a Los Angeles based self-taught photographer who switched careers in 2001 from software marketing to fine-art photography. His figurative works are typically conceptual and abstract, with a minimal aesthetic. Sparky grew up in Pittsburgh and has been photographing almost as long as he’s been walking. He has shown his work in group exhibitions nationally including Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock; Umbrella Arts, NYC; The Print Center, Philadelphia; Texas Photographic Arts, San Antonio; SF Camerawork, San Francisco; Gallery 825, Los Angeles; and Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine. He holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a graduate degree from Stanford University. He has been an instructor at the Harvey Milk Institute in San Francisco and at Prescott College in Arizona. He has been awarded residencies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Anderson Ranch in Colorado.
Artist Statement ~ Horizon Series
"I saw a man pursuing the horizon..."
~ The Black Riders; Stephen Crane
Any horizon defines our immediate limits and our world view. But instead of the effortless, ephemeral expanse of the natural, constructed horizons of concrete and steel create absolute barriers. Instead of a boundless palette of meadows and mountains, urban horizons seem empty and stark.
Our ability to coexist with nature is spotty; what does that say about our species as a part of nature herself? These images present a stand-off, evenly divided between the patterned rigidity of man-made and the random organic of nature. It’s the ability of both halves to simultaneously oppose and complement one another that makes them beautiful.
We look to any horizon, man-made or natural, for inspiration and perspective. City dwellers leave behind much of the natural world, yet we can’t leave behind our need for that which the horizon provides. We still pursue it.