Artist Statement

“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

About the images

The Latin term imago ignata ‘unknown image’ describes a composition of colors and shapes that have little correspondence to the world of external reality. These photographs are of random paint, graffiti, faded handbills, and weathered surfaces, found on walls, lampposts, and doors in the streets of New York, Brooklyn, Havana, Los Angeles, Medellin, and other cities.

Traditionally, nonrepresentational imagery has been the domain of painting.  However, by photographing a surface and eliminating any reference to its physical context, my intention is to abstract and transform it into an intangible realm of color, energy, mood, and mystery.  Although I use a camera to make these images, I have come to think in terms of the individual image, rather than whether it is a painting, a collage, or a photograph.  I photograph these commonplace, and consequently, “invisible” surfaces as a means of probing the imagination.


Both of my parents were artists and I had the opportunity to listen and participate in discussions about art and creativity with many of their friends, including photographers: Richard Avedon, Ernst Haas, Irving Penn, Hiro and painters Michael Goldberg, Larry Rivers, and Norman Blum.

While I have worked as an editorial and commercial photographer, primarily in celebrity portraits, publicity, and fashion, I now concentrate exclusively on my personal work.

Select Exhibits
  • November 2018 through January 2019 ColombianArt Gallery, Medellín: Expresionismo Mágico (Magical Expressionism). Two man exposition with American painter, Edward Davis.
  • July 2017 through February 2018Paul Bardwell Gallery of Contemporary Art at ColomboAmericano: Medellín. Criaturas Concretas (Concrete Creatures): Solo show of 24 images of street painting in Medellín, Colombia.
  • November 2013 through January 2014 — Solo show of 20 large abstract prints at the Dann Carlton Hotel: Belfort, Medellín, Colombia.
  • May 30 through August 15 2013 — Artista Invitado, Piso 11: Art at The Charlee Lifestyle Hotel: Group Show. Medellín, Colombia.
  • November through December 2012 — Solo show of 23 large images at ABC Spanish & Art. Medellín, Colombia.
  • July 2010 — Two large prints installed at the Intercontinental Hotel: Times Square, 300 West 44th St. in Manhattan
photo: Jim Varriale