Artist Statement

Photograph of Frank Rampolla’s palette.
To give form, structure, to immobilize the vagaries that are called ideas and intuitions, are for me the reasons for picture making. 

My way of making pictures is through flash perceptions that can unite an infinite number of loose ends or through the tedium of repetition that eventually strips everything down to bare essentials, leaving no room for the arbitrary. 

There is no reason to delve into the literary or discursive aspects of a picture. Loneliness, the impossibility of inter-human contact, the drive for inward sustenance, the hunger for an all-consuming faith, are part of a common heritage. Therefore all art, in whatever form, deals with them. But the how is the thing.

Reality-also an aspect of the other art forms-takes on special significance in the visual arts. It is practically the pivotal point of all western art. The age-old preoccupation with space is indicative. That old trick about creating spatial illusion on the flat surface: make it real, but do not violate the integrity of the surface; make it real, but personal; make it real, but different. So that the past from early ages to yesterday presents us with both challenge and guidance. We can reconsider all the past’s concerns with both its help and its hindrance and still be very much of the present. 

My primary concern, then, is formal. What interests me is placement, division of space, relationship of sizes and color. The figure becomes a vehicle that can either be sufficient unto itself or stimulate beyond its own confines, a factor as variable as there are viewers. The figure is both the safest and simultaneously the most dangerous subject-safe because of its historical precedent, dangerous for the ease with which it can be personally identified. 

To give dignity without pomp, to lend significance without anecdote-in short, to become a performance of the visual is the objective. 

Frank Rampolla
September, 1965