Paul Loya Gallery

Q & A with Daniel Albrigo

We sat down with Daniel Albrigo on the eve of his current exhibition, LANDSCAPES, to ask his thoughts behind the 16 paintings.

How did you come about this subject as your newest body of work? 
1. For this Body of work I wanted to focus on Landscapes/objects as a subject. Some of them could be described in different ways, but in my mind they all have an essence of a Landscape.
Various inspirations led me to this point in my work but the heaviest influence for me recently is Dike Blair’s Gouache paintings. His work deeply inspired me to capture everyday items and paint them while focusing on the image rather than the emotion.

The subjects you chose, do reflect the traditional “Landcape” paintings. What drew you to your subjects?
2. The subjects you chose, don’t reflect the traditional “Landcape” paintings. What drew you to your subjects?
I felt disconnected in someway to the last couple of series I painted because they were mostly found images.

I still liked the work but it lacked a personal resonance. The difference in these paintings is that all of the work in this show is original content from 35mm or cell phone photos. The photos were taken by myself and colleague, J.D. Day.  I can appreciate each piece because I know the location/landscape and have a personal connection to it.

Majority of these paintings are tightly cropped in; what was the intention? 
3. The tight crop on these paintings wasn’t my direct intention but the work organically led me that direction. In a way I want less context on the image and immediate surroundings. For instance, some of these paintings are from studio visits with Cali Dewitt, Mason Saltarrelli and Raymond Pettibon. Instead of focusing on the artist or who the studio space belongs too, I could just paint a small section of their daily landscape. As a viewer, you wont pick up on who this space belongs to.The crop has everything to do with this, whether intentional or not.

Where did you grow up and does this any influence on the subjects you choose to paint? 
4. I grew up in Southern California. My wife and I lived in NYC for 8 years which had a huge impact on me. In 2015 we moved back to Long Beach CA.

During the move, we drove cross country with our dogs on Hwy 50 and I-70. I was so moved and inspired by watching the Landscape of America change from East to West. I had to capture it in some way. Some of the work was inspired by the journey.

Also why did you choose oil paint as to showing these as photographs? 
5. First and foremost I’m a painter. For the last 10-15 years, I’ve painted from photos. Some my own, some found. The main difference is I was trying to make them look as polished as a photograph for a long time. After painting this way, I realized I wasn’t satisfied even after putting in that extra 3-4 sittings to make it “perfect”.

If I wanted it to be as polished as a photo, I should just show a photo, as its way more direct and immediate.
i found that i was happier with the work when others could tell it was a painting and not confuse it for a photograph. Even if its hard to tell in some photos, upon closer look its obvious these were painted.