Artist statement - Dave Hall

With a smart phone in every pocket the landscape (pun intended) of photography has changed for both good and for ill. The emphasis on snapping selfies and blithely moving on suggests we may be neglecting the totality of the experience; the feeling, the mood of the place. This is, in part, because we are limited to the 4:3 perspective (old films and TVs) established in 1892 by Thomas Edison. This perspective rarely fully captures the emotion of the moment.


With my photography of unique perspective, I want the viewer to feel the wind on their face, experience the golden light as the sun sets and confront the oneness with the surroundings. My goal is to capture the present moment with a unique perspective that embodies a singular experience .


As you look at each of my photographs, imagine you are there, in the moment, basking in warmth of the light, immersed in the breadth of the scene, with the wind on your face.



About the Photographer


As a child my parents packed my sister and I up and we camped our way across the country. Over the years, we explored all lower 48 states. On each camping trip, I admired my dad always taking photographs. My first camera was a polaroid and I went nuts taking pictures of our pets from any and every angle. As a teenager I got my first film camera and started taking photos along side my dad who was quite interested in landscapes and people. My first SLR was a Canon Elan II. In graduate school at UW-Madison, I started taking photography classes from Gene Staver who polished my eye for composition, got me thinking about selling my photography and started my on a quest to improve my camera equipment. I was lucky to travel to Europe several times to visit my sister playing basketball. I was inspired by the ancient cities of Europe and started taking photos. I got my first point and shoot digital camera in 1999 and began my quest to find and artistic style by shooting as many photos as possible. My day job is teaching biochemistry and that job has enabled me to travel to fantastic places every year.


Origins of Cerca Trova

“Cerca trova” (seek and ye shall find) is a mysterious inscription that is located at the top of Vasari’s fresco The Battle of Marciano positioned in the Hall of. The Five Hundred in Palazzo Vecchio. This inscription and its anagram CATROVACER play a very important role in Dan Brown’s Inferno. The words “cerca trova,” however, are not as mysterious as believed: in fact, in the 1960s, some art historians discovered their origin.


The Battle of Marciano, also known as the battle of Scannagallo, was a very important battle fought by the troops of the Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici against the city of Siena, near Marciano in Val di Chiana. The battle was decisive in defeating Siena and achieving supremacy over all of Tuscany. The conflict was also important for the Duke Cosimo because the troops of Siena were led by Piero Strozzi, a Florentine nobleman, who was his archenemy. Other Florentine troops, consisting of supporters of the Florentine Republic as well as enemies of Cosimo I in general, joined Piero Strozzi. The battle of Marciano was also fought among Florentines to achieve the supremacy over Florence.


So when we say “Siena soldiers,” we mean the troops defending Siena, which included Florentine soldiers. Siena soldiers wore different green flags, some of them donated by the king of France, who supported them. Dante’s verses were embroidered on a number of these green flags: He goes in search of freedom, which is so dear, As he who gives his life for it would know. (Purgatorio, Canto I, 71–72) By these verses, Siena troops wanted to express that they were fighting to defend their own freedom. But those Siena soldiers, looking for freedom, instead found the defeat. This is the sarcastic message that Cosimo I wanted to express by asking Giorgio Vasari to paint the words “cerca trova” on a green flag in place of Dante’s verses. Anyway, seek and ye shall find… something!


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