James Katsipis Shows 20 Years of Montauk Photos at The Lucore Art

"Vengeance" Montauk wave black and white photograph by James Katsipis
“Vengeance” by James Katsipis
Courtesy James Katsipis

Montauk native and photographer James Katsipis is presenting a solo exhibition of his works entitled Tauk at The Lucore Art gallery in downtown Montauk (87 S Euclid Avenue) opening this Saturday, July 23 and continuing through Saturday, August 9. A special opening reception with the artist is scheduled from 5–8 p.m. on Saturday.

Tauk features works spanning Katsipis’s entire life and career as a photographer, including his most symbolically important photos, those which he says speak to him and evoke a feeling of home.

Through his work, Katsipis says he aims to “show the world the magic of Montauk,” exploring its majestic shorelines, swimming off the coast with camera in hand, surfing giant swells in the snowy winter, and creating abstract works using his unique vision and perspective of the ocean and the uniquely beautiful local light.

"El Dorado" Montauk car Cadillac black and white photograph by James Katsipis
“El Dorado” by James KatsipisCourtesy James Katsipis

Tauk comprises 20 photographs, black & white and color, taken over the last 18 years. Sizes range from large-format 70 x 50-inch prints with resin-pour finish, to Epson premium luster paper with custom white frames and face-mounted acrylics.

The selection of works specifically features ocean-based photography, images of surfing, waves and portraiture of the Montauk beach community — all of which would make beautiful additions to the walls of any Hamptons home.

Photos by James Katsipis

"Hair Spray" by James Katsipis
“Hair Spray” by James KatsipisCourtesy James Katsipis

Katsipis’s photo “Hair Spray” (above) is a tribute to the hard work put in by New York’s surfers in pursuit of an epic wave.

“All the elements must line up just right for surfers to get good waves. Surfers need to follow swell patterns, wind patterns, and tides — and if one element is off, the whole thing is blown,” Katsipis explains in announcement about the show, adding, “Most of the time, dedicated surfers need to wait patiently for a small window when the waves are good, and seize the moment as soon as it arrives.”

In this case, Katsipis says he had gotten home and grabbed his gear with about 15 minutes of daylight left, and then headed to the beach just in time to see Zach Dayton catch the best wave of the day.

"Welcome Home" Montauk photograph by James Katsipis
“Welcome Home” by James KatsipisCourtesy James Katsipis

“Welcome Home,” one of the featured photos in the show, is a sigh of relief for the artist. Every time Katsipis has been traveling, he says there’s no better feeling than coming over the crest of 27 East, seeing the ocean and the familiar “Welcome to Montauk” sign.

His image “Moonlit Slides” (below) was taken after a night of surfing under the full moon. To escape the crowds, he and some friends paddled out in darkness, with nothing but the moon to light the waves.

"Moonlit Slides" by James Katsipis
“Moonlit Slides” by James KatsipisCourtesy James Katsipis

“The exhibition is a culmination of work from when I first pointed my camera at the surf at Atlantic Terrace to my more recent adventures of swimming into large winter waves on the outer bar. Tauk is my life’s work of 20 years,” Katsipis explains.

“All the images I chose particularly speak to me about different experiences I’ve had growing up and living in Montauk,” he continues, adding, “I wanted to show Montauk in a light that your average visitor wouldn’t have the chance to see on a weekend getaway. The true Montauk.”

Christopher Lucore on Showing James Katsipis

Christopher Lucore, a painter and owner of The Lucore Art, which serves as a gallery and his personal art studio, shares his enthusiasm about Tauk and James Katsipis, explaining, “The Lucore Art, located in the heart of Montauk, is thrilled to host the work of renowned photographer James Katsipis. Born and raised in Montauk, James has a gift for capturing the ethereal Montauk light.”

The Lucore Art represents artists from the East End, featuring a new talent every three weeks. Lucore works directly with each artist to curate his or her show. “The Lucore Art is a beautiful space. It’s a blank canvas. Each show reworks the space into an explosion of color and contrast,” he says. “The East End has an extremely vibrant artistic community. The Lucore Art is a way to tap into that, collaborate with some truly incredible individuals, and bring their art to the spotlight.”

Learn more about The Lucore Art at thelucoreart.com or visit the gallery on Instagram at @thelucoreart.

To see more work by James Katsipis, visit his website, jameskatsipis.com, or check out his photos on his popular Instagram account @letstaukgrams, which has more than 31,000 followers.

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