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Portraits: Paper and Clay

Robert Kato, Emotional Biomes — Then I arrived at the capital, vaguely saturatedwith fog and rain. What streets were those?The garments of 1921 were breedingin an ugly smell of gas, coffee, and bricks.I walked among the students without understanding,pulling the walls inside me, searchingeach day into my poor poetry for the branches,the drops of rain, and the moon, that had been lost.I went deep into it for help, sinkingeach evening into its waters, graspingenergies I could not touch, the seagulls of a deserted sea,until I closed my eyes and was shipwrecked in the middleof my own body. - Pablo Neruda, Friends on the Road (1921)   … [Read more...]

Passages

Paths and Proximities, Photography by Robert A. Kato — In my conversations with Robert Kato he states his intention is to frame these photographs as not of paths, but of things in their proximity, things that had compelled his attention when he wasn't predisposed to look for anything in particular. These photographs speak to the individuality of each passage. Robert’s journey is not about destination but about staying with the moment, a mindfulness practice: impressions, bifurcations, mist, frost, a bush, a history in prints, scratches within scratches, scarification by repeated footsteps, cool colors, green, pale blue, grays and browns, deterioration, the passage of time. “There is no difference between Time and the three … [Read more...]

The Loupe_Streetscapes

Robert Kato, Stalking the Streets — You're confusing product with process. Most people, when they criticize, whether they like it or hate it, they're talking about product. That's not art, that's the result of art. Art, to whatever degree we can get a handle on (I'm not sure that we really can) is a process. It begins in the heart and the mind with the eyes and hands. — Jeff Melvoin, Northern Exposure, Fish Story, 1994     … [Read more...]

Night@Mare

Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Photography by Robert A. Kato – Mare Island was my first foray into night photography, a self imposed challenge to find light in darkness. I would typically visit Mare on full moon and or two days on either side of full, waxing or waning. Mare’s nocturnal appeal had more to do with what I couldn’t see than what I could. Frequent visits to the abandoned shipyard during the day left very little to the imagination. The night was a complete theatrical experience for me. Each structure, location had it’s own story to tell and they invited me to participate in this imagined dialogue embraced by night. The great reflector in the night sky was my main fill light, often supplemented by various … [Read more...]

Man Forgets the Earth Remembers

The Photography of Robert Kato – Robert Kato's photography is about finding beauty in the most unlikely anythings and anywheres. The images from his San Francisco Bay series "Man Forgets the Earth Remembers" are neither Kodak moments nor hero shots, but tributes to the grandeur of common places and the singularity of the ordinary. These bayside landscapes speak to the most quotidian of scenarios that under the watchful eye of Kato become opulent photographic renderings. Kato pursues his images with both controlled precision and serendipitous intent. He purposes only to be present, a certain place at a chosen hour, trusting that the images will come. Then, from the moment the vision alights on his lens it will go through a rigorous … [Read more...]