Art Domagala: People vs. Structure
About The Exhibit
To me, the presence of structures in our lives is a reflection of human ambition and progress in both literal and figurative ways. We invest so much of ourselves in what we build around us. As an architecture photographer, I have always been drawn to the way that structures can be interpreted as art. My initial response to architecture has typically been at an abstract level: looking at how patterns can be drawn from buildings, how the shapes and lines of structures can be made to work together to form compositions, how these three-dimensional objects can be reinterpreted when projected onto the two-dimensional surface of a photograph. But the more time I spent photographing buildings, the more I became fascinated by the people I would see around the buildings. It made me think about how we take for granted the presence of people in urban areas. But when we see just a few people—or only a single person—against the large structures ubiquitous in our cities, we are offered a different context for viewing our built environment. It becomes striking how small humans suddenly are (or perhaps how unexpectedly large our structures suddenly are). It provides a moment to think about the remarkable achievements our structures represent, and how we also can get lost in that. This series is about seeking out those kinds of moments.
About The Artist
I suppose I would like to think of myself as a student of the universe. Sometimes I’ll fall into fits of delusional grandeur, thinking I’ll be able to figure it all out. Of course, that kind mentality can be useful for artists. Or at least that’s what artists would like people to think… In any case, this pursuit has given me a diverse history. My background includes degrees in English and Astrophysics, playing in a rock band, being an editor for a motorcycle magazine, teaching English in Poland, and co-owning a gallery. Last year I moved to the San Francisco Bay area where I work as a marketing coordinator and commercial photographer in addition to creating artwork. Immediately prior that I was a resident of Reno and supporter of its ever-growing arts community, and had also served on the Reno Arts & Culture Commission. Through all of my experiences, I’ve had a constant fixation on art. And photography has emerged as the perfect medium for me. I perceive it as a kind of welding between the instinctual and the logical. A photographic composition usually starts as an intuitive process, and then progresses into the technical aspects of the lens selection, the camera settings, and so on…all the way through the processing and printing of the photograph. I’d like to think that my photography is less about being a documentation of the world, and more about how we can interpret the world. A photograph asks us to draw patterns out of the existence around us. This is something, in fact, that our brains are doing all the time. And what can be so engaging about a photograph is we can see something in addition to (or even something in place of) the reality of the situation when the image was taken.