John S. Banks: Utah Portal

  • ©1994, John S. Banks



    Utah Portal


Creation Year:



    Iris print


    20" x 15"


Artist Statement:

    The work is a theory of the world (not to imply a complete one). Its purpose is to rejoice in a sense of wonder and mystery, to see beyond the seen into the suspected, to hint of the mystery felt during the journey. Some experiences want altars, others visions, yet others remembrances. These are representative of stages of a story comprised of episodic events, peak moments, and places of discovery.

    These images are my attempt at visualizing and clarifying a sense of dis­covery. By discovery, I mean finding something beyond what was known or expected. I feel this discovery at places that seem to suggest a story – a story I don’t really know. In these images, I am not trying to express an actual story but rather to visualize some of the various states that may be experienced on a “journey.” Doorways, paths, altars, and windows are the central elements within the context of a “site,” which is the spark.

    The work is derived from a photograph of a site. I try to create a visually compelling environment where there are multiple places to go. I try to clarify what the image may suggest by amplifying or reducing values and textures. Then I work outward from the focal point, and either collage in associated pieces of drawings or photographs, or odd compositional motion with blur and distortion filters. Finally, lighting or tonal effects ore added to the entire piece to further delineate the forms or to homogenize disparate elements. The sources are all my own photographs or drawings.