Nicholas Vitale charts new ground where the like-minded Fauvists and psychedelic artists of the 1960s left off. Using gouache or oil paint, he paints still lifes and landscapes of the rugged natural regions of the western United States. The surface of each canvas is active with texture, while the images themselves exude energy through the artist's intense use of unadulterated complementary colors. If a faraway mountain range seems to have a bluish hue, Vitale models a vibrant ultramarine range. If a plant seems healthy and lush, he covers the surface with a layer of vivid day-glow green. With this technique, Vitale seeks to capture the power and essence of a particular place rather than a realistic representation. He acts as a conscious medium between nature and art while his interest remains the process of creation.
“My passion has always been the paint itself,” he explains, “its pigment, texture and application to the mundane surfaces of paper, linen or canvas.”