(An) artist statement (written to reflect unexpected pause, a paradigm shift, one of many―
(Less a profound conclusion than a process of pondering―
Amid moments of pause within the past several months, I have found some solace in wandering familiar landscapes with the sole intention to notice. My current paintings are a manifestation of this practice, each derived from sites where layered histories of human intervention coincide with complex abstractions of space. Using watercolor, I seek to challenge assumptions about our imprints upon a landscape. In the environments I document, disturbance is not easily discerned from reclamation. Fragility is not distinct from resilience. And baselines of reality are called into question by planes of transparent illusion.
My work is not necessarily a judgement of land ethic nor a call to stewardship, though I welcome both. Instead, I consider it a meditation, a dynamic stagnation, a humble acknowledgement of landscapes that are often overlooked.
Marco Ammatelli is a student of Painting and Drawing in the School of Art + Art History + Design at the University of Washington. In addition to studies in the visual arts, his education spans coursework in life sciences, environmental anthropology, and more recently landscape architecture, the composite of which informs his process of observation and synthesis. Before the onset of global pandemic, his work primarily examined personal narratives through acts of honest introspection, a means of “reconciling the distances in between” (Kathy Liao, 2019).
While the impact of COVID-19 has further reinforced the importance of such reflections, his current work reframes the original process, drawing upon ideas about landscape and ecology that enable him to contemplate broader dimensions of place.
At the moment, his work is influenced by a range of visual and literary references, at the forefront of which lie critical essays on environmental history, research within ecopsychology, and stories from authors like Leslie Marmon Silko, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Vladimir Nabokov.
Marco was born and raised in rural Colorado. He has since lived in Spokane before relocating to Seattle, the place he now calls home.