John Vias, a photographer from Berkeley, California, loves wandering around in the dark. “Night brings on a curfew, emptying streets and sidewalks,” he says. “The even sunlight of the day gives way to dramatic pools of light, creating impromptu stages where the actors never arrive. Photographing at night is also like shooting a movie all on one frame. Time is compressed, movement is frozen. What’s left is stillness and quiet. With our hurried lifestyles, my work is an invitation to slow down. And look.”
John’s “unpeopled” photographs, many of them blue deep and light silver, depict old benches and buildings, sometimes hedges and grass – locations that are close to but remain untouched by fast-paced urban activity. Calm and quiet, these works of art often focus on insignificant objects like spigots and chairs to inspire a meditative response in the viewer.
“I never tried to make my work look like someone else’s,” says the photographer, “so any influences were unconscious. I just make my art and leave it to others make associations with other artists. That said, I admire the work of the painters Mark Rothko and Edward Hopper and the photographers Edward Weston and Michael Kenna.”
John was born in Evanston, Illinois. He earned a Certificate in Photography from the University of California Berkeley Extension and a BA from the University of Florida. His award-winning night photography is part of public, private and corporate collections in the US and abroad. It has been exhibited throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Venues include the Pro Arts and Slate galleries in Oakland, Canvas Gallery and Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, the Berkeley Art Center and Stanford University.
More on the website www.johnvias.com. John Vias’ photography can be viewed and purchased on Amazon (www.amazon.com/handmade/JohnVias) and Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com/johnvias). A book of his – Good Night, Ocean View – is available on Blurb.
Images used with permission.