Scurograph: Photograms and Drawings by Steven Mastroianni
Scurograph: Luminous photograms and drawings can be viewed in Steven Mastroianni's exhibition in the Massillon Museum’s Studio M from June 11 through July 27, 2022.
Scurograph, according to the artist, is evocative of watery depths, imaginary galaxies, and mysterious maps. These luminous images create an immersive dimension with their own logic and rules of scale and space. “As in dreams, my imagery seems familiar but weird; letters that don’t exist, math that doesn’t add up, and mutated forms floating in dark space,” he says. Like blueprints, which were an early use of the cyanotype process, these images resemble intricate mechanical drawings. But instead of buildings or machines, he is laying out the plans for imaginary locations and strange mechanisms.
The artworks are rooted in drawing, starting out as small sketches where Mastroianni develops his concepts, motifs, and patterns. For the photograms, he uses stencils, bric-a-brac, and hand-drawn “negatives” to serve as an analog to the lines and marks of the original drawings. Those bits and pieces are laid out on coated, sensitized paper to create glowing reversed shadows and lines. In some of the artworks, he integrates drawing directly onto the paper before it’s sensitized, creating an extra layer of detail, with the ink acting both as a chemical resist and as literal marks.
The Museum will host a free, public reception for the artist on Saturday, July 25, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., with an artist talk at 6:00 p.m. A podcast interview with the artist will be posted at MassillonMuseum.org at noon on Tuesday, July 5.
Mastroianni is a multidisciplinary artist, photographer, educator, and musician. His current work explores the intersection of drawing, printmaking, and photography. His career straddles the worlds of commercial and fine art, as he operates a commercial photography studio and regularly exhibits in area galleries. From 2008 to 2018, he was the owner and curator of Silver Scuro Studio and Gallery/Mastroianni Arts, a gallery and studio space in Cleveland, where he featured area artists and other arts-related events.Read More