Flight Pattern, 2017
Philadelphia artist Paul Santoleri is known for his large-scale paintings and drawings of imagined landscapes. His 2-dimensional works on paper are typically black and white featuring bold black lines that define each element. The black against the stark white creates a high graphic contrast. And his densely populated marks leave little negative space as each object intermingles and flows into the next. Whether Santoleri is rendering a garden or urban cityscape the scale, detail, and density of black lines are mesmerizing.
Similarly in Flight Pattern, Santoleri has used black ceramic slip to draw directly onto white stoneware tiles. He has rendered a massive feather, the centerpiece of the composition, with undulating lines that he says “suggest the movements created by constant travel.” The feather appears to float in the foreground above smaller-scaled cityscapes derived from multiple cities where he has visited. Seen from an aerial vantage point, viewers look down onto the feather and the cityscapes below as if seen from the window of an airplane.
Santoleri’s graceful feather, although large and looming, is ultimately protective as its presence seems to softly blanket civilization in peaceful tranquility.
An original artwork commissioned by The City of Philadelphia, Percent for Art Program, and Philadelphia International Airport.
For more information about the artist, visit paulsantoleri.com.