Honoring The Artist: Daniel Pollera

This week’s cover image by Daniel Pollera, “Looking Down the Beach,” offers a good clue regarding how the artist sees the world. Simply put, Pollera views his environment in all directions, looking not only down, but up and sideways as well. No matter where he is or how familiar he is with the locale, Pollera is keenly aware of his surroundings. He is discovering new things every day.

Q: What’s the source of the cover?

A: It’s somewhat made up, although, of course, I have been to all these places. I took a photograph of Quogue Beach; the rooftops are from Cape Cod. The chairs add a human element.

Q: It reminds me of Block Island, your signature setting where you have spent a lot of time. While you often combine aspects of different settings, you know the areas well. Speaking of which, you were in Block Island yesterday. What draws you there? [expand]

A: I hadn’t been to Block Island in a couple of years, but it’s so pristine. It’s like a virgin oasis. You can smell the flowers in the air. It will take you a million miles away in mood and feeling. The people are also nice. I love nice people.

Q: You have a wonderful way of describing Block Island using the senses. What did you discover new this time even though you have been going there for 20 years?

A: I discovered that someone has an organic farm there. People pay ahead of time for the vegetables for the whole summer so I knew I couldn’t buy anything. Also, a friend gave me blackberry soda, which is made on the Island. It was delicious.

Q: I know you visit other places on a regular basis. Where else have you been this summer that will turn up in a painting?

A: We went to Newport, Rhode Island, where the sun was sparkling on the bay. I took my camera with me and shot the harbor, which was glistening. But the setting was different when were taking the New London Ferry. The fog was so thick we were stopping and starting the whole time. When we got to Greenport, the sun was shinning. The point is: the world is changing before our eyes.

Q: You and I have talked through the years about this change, especially the economic changes.

A: It’s not just economic issues. How about the way we are viewed by other countries in the world?

Q: I just had this thought. You don’t mind the changes that occur in the weather, for example, during your trip to Newport or other alterations on Block Island. In fact you welcome them. But the world is so unpredictable nowadays; I don’t look forward to these changes myself. How about some personal changes in your family?

A: My daughter, Valeria, is getting married, so that’s a good change. She’s also doing most of the cooking for us; you know I used to cook a lot. I’ve never heard of some of the ingredients she uses. She always says, “ Eat this. It tastes good, and it’s healthy for you.” She’s into that because she’s pursuing a teaching career in Family Consumer Science.

Q: What is it about your profession that keeps you going, that you don’t want to see changed?

A: Traveling to other places stimulates me. I get excited when I see something. I think, “Isn’t that cool; how did that happen?” Also, I will always try and keep my painting fresh, to paint what I love and know.”

Daniel Pollera’s work can be seen at Southampton’s Chrysalis Gallery (2 Main Street). Call 631-287-1883.

Last week’s “Honoring the Artist” featured Karen Dorothee Peters, a consultant for the cover artist, Heinz Salloch. She worked as a Research Consultant in Media Arts and Culture at the Ford Foundation. [/expand]

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