For more than 40 years, Santa Barbara-based photographer Santi Visalli has turned his lens upon the world with purpose and grace. From elegant architectural studies to intimate portraits of the rich and famous, Visalli’s portfolio is as diverse as it is prolific, and includes many of the major cultural and social icons of our era.
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Exactly 100 years ago, a seasoned cowboy boarded a train for New York, hoping to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional artist. When he returned to his native California a dozen years later, Edward Borein was considered by many to be among the finest interpreters of the American West, an artist whose depictions of cowboys, Native Americans, and the rapidly disappearing culture of the Old West were valued as much for their accuracy as for their artistic merit.
Photography is at once art’s most literal and most deceptive medium. The camera began as a recording device, designed to capture scenes as they appear to the naked eye. But in the hands of more than a century of artists, the instrument has become as expressive as the paintbrush, producing images that are as consciously composed and intentionally controlled as those in any painting. Yet no matter how thoroughly they have been manipulated, photographs remain the result of the mechanical exposure of some surface to light reflected from a subject.