DON PORTER Biography / Statement
Don Porter, a lifelong California artist, was taught and mentored by some of the finest: Gui Ignon in Ojai, California and, at the University of California, Berkeley, by Elmer Bischoff, Jerrold Ballaine, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Hartman, Peter Voulkos - and influenced by many others along the way (e.g Hoffman, Munch, Ryder, Delacroix, Kline, Rothko, Pollock, Rauschenberg, de Kooning, Krasner).
Winner of numerous awards, Porter has exhibited his photographs, paintings and sculptures in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, North Carolina, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs. His photographs and paintings are collected world-wide.
Coincidental with his career as an artist, Don has been an award-winning architect and builder in Nevada and California, where, beginning in the 1970’s, he helped pioneer sustainable design and recycling practices.
In addition to painting and traditional photography, Porter’s most recent work involves photographing temporary sculptures that persuade him to see beauty in each moment (Venus principle). As he manipulates various inanimate materials and substances, he introduces them to baths of pigmented liquids, and subjects the ever-changing configurations to layers of light (filtered, reflected and refracted). He photographs these fabrications as they transform, dissolve, disintegrate … cease to be what they were. Although he effects some color correction and cropping for composition, Porter does not use Photoshop or the like. “Intentionally designing the sculptures to transcend a preceding moment of existence,” Don explains “I record that exact instance of transformation as a requiem for each moment that was, all the while conceding, and yes, celebrating the impermanence of all that exists …. did exist.”
“The cohesiveness of my images is with the process itself, not so much with the images or series of images - which I tend not to do. No moment is the same as any other, nor are any of my temporary sculptures the same as any other. Each of these images is a self-portrait of my artistic intentions, my emotions, and decisions at a particular time. My art is a metaphor of my existential being - affirming that meaningful action, self-realization, and transcendence are not only possible, but desirable. I may not always know what will come next, but I am enlivened and pleased enough with the process and results that I often regard it as an addiction to abstract spirituality.”