Don Porter Biography and Artist’s Statement

Born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California, I studied the social sciences and received the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. After my counseling and research career (as Director of Evaluation Of Marin County Mental Health Services), I returned to UC Berkeley to study fine arts under the tutelage and mentorship of Elmer Bischoff, Karl Kasten, Jerrold Ballaine, Richard Diebenkorn, Michael Bradley and Peter Voulkos.

Subsequently, and following coursework, training and mentoring in architecture I have worked as a licensed Architect and General Building Contractor for the past 46 years - designing, building and remodeling custom homes and restaurants in California and Nevada. 

All the while, I have continued my fine art endeavors and have exhibited my paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures in galleries in California, North Carolina, and New York. 
My most recent work involves sculpting temporary works - manipulating various  inanimate objects and subjecting those installations to translucent and/or opaque baths of pigmented liquids, then lighting these ever-changing configurations with multiple layers of light (filtered, reflected and refracted). During and after these processes, photographs are taken as the sculptures transform, dissolve, disintegrate … cease to be what they were. They are a contemporary, radical form of “wabi-sabi.”

“Wabi-sabi” is an aesthetic discipline that reveres transience and imperfection.  It aspires to rough authenticity and silent, elegant beauty.  Asymmetry, mutability, simplicity, intimacy, and respect for the integrity of all natural entities are incorporated in wabi-sabi.

I began my artistic endeavors using traditional drawing, painting and sculpting techniques.  As years collect behind me, I am more and more conscious of the fleeting nature of all there is and of the supreme importance of each moment of the now.  The resulting images of my wabi-sabi sculptures are devotions to these solitary moments. They reveal my belief that all things are impermanent and imperfect and yet, when viewed through the prism of subjective realities, those very things just may leave a trail of inherent transcendence.

self portrait


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