Painter and surfer Ran Ortner is best known for his large-scale, reverential paintings of ocean waves.
There's a wonderful documentary in progress about the Brooklyn-based artist's work, and you can watch it below.
Water is a manifestation of the multitude of wave energies that surround us, a formless, colorless, tasteless, odorless "billowing solid" (Wallace Stevens), visible to our eye only with the addition of light. A single drop potentially mirrors everything that surrounds it. Water embodies the concept of endlessness, of complexities repeated fractally from one drop to the vast sea. I expose the identity of the ancient body of the ocean with integrity by being hyper-observant to its nature, focusing on the structure, synchronicity, and oscillations of the waves.
Yet I am interested in conveying how the ocean resonates, rather than depicting it. Constantly moving in a dance that mirrors the tempo of the human body, waves break in time with the beating of our hearts, the in and out of our breaths, like a metronome marking the present moment: now, now. My paintings are about being immersed in this present. For that reason, the horizon and any other reference points are disappeared, a move that detaches my work from the tradition of marine paintings, from Caspar David Friedrich, Turner, the Hudson River. Now we are not a distant observer, but all in.
[via Cross Connect]