Veteran • Artist • Writer •Photographer
Last Exhibition: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas | Summer 2016
Awards & Recognition
2013 Hawaii Photographer of the Year
Named Top Artists To Watch For 2015 by Art Business News
Finalist in HIPA (UAE) International Photography Competition 2017
Published 3 times in National Geographic 2014, 2015, 2017
Finalist in Nat Geo Traveler Contest 2015
Finalist in Weather Channel’s Its Amazing Out There 2015, 2016
Named Top 100 Night Sky Photographers by Space.com 2014, 2015
I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my to-do list. I’ve visited a fair bit of the world, though, witnessing it with the slight disposition of a New Yorker. The New Yorker in me was pummeled and reshaped during my first years in the military. A fast-talking, ‘arrogant’ (my accent made people automatically assume this), overachiever, was not received well in a group mostly comprised of less urban people. I was young, and I learned, and I traveled, and I relearned, and now all of the above is a habit. When the habit fades I know it is time to move again. Along the way, I learned first the camera, and later the pen. Today I carry both and they war with each other for my attention.
Photography began as a means of solving the “no picture, no proof” argument when I used to do solo backcountry hiking in Alaska. I was stationed at Eielson AFB at the time. Since then it’s bloomed, wintered, and bloomed again. I now define my photography within two distinct veins: Comfortable Isolation and the Personification of Nature. I have been slowly massaging the craft of being a cameraman into a vision that is wholly my own.
Comfortable Isolation in photographs is a product of growing up as an outsider and growing into being a loner. But it is also a perception/representation of an important component of growth that society is allowing to slip away. Our character grows as the conversations we have with ourselves develops. The inner dialog where we battle our demons and mold our beliefs occurs in our moments of solitude. We have fewer and fewer moments of solitude as the outside world both crashes through the barriers of our attention and is invited into our minds as a deliberate distraction from our inner monolog. I’ve been creating these solitary places/spaces in my photographs to represent this story. Pieces like Survivor, Solitude (and the rest of the Lonely Boat Series), Adrift below, and others.
Finding Nature in my photographs is largely a component of luck. Luck and an opportunity made possible by being out there and ready for it. I am looking for signs of life in my photographs. In Dance, the trees are curving and appear to be dancing and crowded while still maintaining that clear pathway for your thoughts. Like a labyrinth, it’s a moving meditation but in a forest that is alive. It took me quite a while to find a forest that was booth moving and clear. There are also images like Guardian with its multitude of faces (15) and it’s story of protection on the North Shore of Hawaii and Her, pictured below Dance with its woman below red the waves as if they were bed sheets. Pacing the Sun, with its bird in the waves. Wild Horses, with the stallion before the stars.
As I mentioned in the introduction, this aesthetic is evolving into an entirely new image. Below is the image, The Mountain. She is the first of my Human Landscapes or Bodyscapes. Again, it is about finding nature personified but in a more deliberate way. I have plans to use both male and female models in more aesthetic, artistic, painterly, and visually pleasing ways than what I have seen in the past.
I want to capture beauty, create beauty, and inspire beauty. I want to captivate, and engage; to learn, teach and learn from teaching. I think that these qualities are what professionals and leaders aspire to and develop for. I also think that these are the values I have towed with me since adopting the core values of the Air Force, specifically “Excellence In All We Do.” I deeply appreciate this opportunity to work hard on this dream and am grateful that you have spent a few moments to read about me.
©2014 Jason Matias