Incandescent Innovator

Posted online: March 2015

By L.D. Porterartopener

Gerald Incandela“I like to provoke,” says GERALD INCANDELA, geraldincandela.com, “to make people think.” Right now, the Tunisian-born artist himself is on many people’s minds, thanks to a fascinating book by author/art critic Philip Gefter about legendary photography collector Sam Wagstaff, who almost single-handedly forced the world to acknowledge photography as a legitimate art form.

Wagstaff was an early collector of Incandela’s gestural images, recognizing the artist’s prodigious talents as well as his groundbreaking photographic technique. “In the 1970s, curators and collectors responded to Incandela’s work because he was doing something completely new,” says Gefter. “No one before had exposed photographic images onto paper and then applied developer with a brush. His pictures seemed to hover between photography and drawing, the mechanical and the handmade, the literal and the interpretive.”

Ever the provocateur, Incandela continues to produce and exhibit his work internationally, splitting his time between Santa Barbara and Connecticut.

Gerald’s GO-TOs:

Thanks to the visionary work of people like Marilyn Horne, voice program director at the MUSIC ACADEMY OF THE WEST, 805-969-4726, musicacademy.org, Larry J. Feinberg, director of the SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF ART, 805-963-4364, sbmuseart.org, and Roger Durling, executive director of the SANTA BARBARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 805-963-0023, sbiff.org, and to the strong patronage and support of the community, Santa Barbara is not a sleepy provincial refuge, but a center of sophisticated creative and intellectual life.

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“Being born on the Mediterranean, Santa Barbara is as close as it gets to make me feel at home and close to my core. If you are into ‘living’ as an art form, the climate here is the perfect canvas for it. It’s a city that always seems fresh, like a work in progress. It’s a city that invites you to enter its life and participate in its ongoing creation.”

mapplethorpe

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