The Imago Project


"When you look at a wall spotted with stains or with a mixture of stones . . . you may discover: landscapes, mountains, figures in action; or strange faces, an endless variety of objects . . . like the sound of bells in whose jangle you may find any name or word you choose to imagine.�  Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

�We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the relation between things and ourselves� Every image embodies a way of seeing.� � John Berger, Ways of Seeing


Imago ignata is a Latin term meaning 'unknown image'...  a pattern of colors, shapes that have no correspondence to the world of external reality. The photographs in the Imago project are of random paint, graffiti, faded handbills, and weathered surfaces, found on walls, lampposts, and doors in the streets of New York, Brooklyn, Los Angeles and other cities.

Nonrepresentational imagery has been seen as the domain of painting. By photographing an object and cropping out any reference to its physical context, it is �abstracted� and transformed into an intangible realm of color, energy, mood, and mystery.  I use a camera to make these images and have come to think in terms of the individual image, rather than whether it is a painting, a collage, or a photograph.  I photograph commonplace, and consequently, �invisible� surfaces as a means of probing the imagination.


Eric Cato

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© Eric Cato 2004