The Cultural Confluence
R. Martin Stamat
Exhibition was on view from October 25th – November 16th, 2010
Exhibition Description & Artist Statement
New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Coloradoknown more commonly as the Four Cornersare home to some of the countries most beautiful natural formations of cliffs, canyons, and desert-like plains. When R. Martin Stamat rests his eyes on the dry, arid, and barren landscape of this American southwestern region, he sees past the drought and instead unearths evidence of hidden cultures rich with stories of endless historical value. Having had the privilege of taking several trips to the Four Corners area, Stamat collected a plethora of photos, memorable images, and inspirations of the past cultures that one time inhabited these lands. Stamat then combined photographic techniques with mixed media materials such as wood, paper, fiber, and dye to expound upon his primal interest in photography and express ideas that cannot be communicated through basic photographic utilization. The resulting body of work revealed Stamats personal portrayal of the many lost and unknown ancient histories of pre-European western American civilizations that contemporary culture has either failed to notice or simply forgotten.
The voices of an ancient people in their deserted landscape find union with art and anthropology to create a junction of their time with our own: a confluence of culture, thought, and human interaction with their surroundings.
R. Martin Stamat, exhibiting artist.
About the Artist
R. Martin Stamat was a senior BFA Studio Art major with minors in English and Anthropology at Appalachian State University when this exhibit was on display. His interest in the American southwest is rooted in numerous trips to the region over the past decade with family, friends, ASU Anthropology Department, Boy Scouts, as well as on his own. Stamat used various media and creates work that focused upon specific places, issues, ideas, and environments as he encountered them in their context. Though this series was largely rooted in photography, Stamat used it and many other media to express his understanding of an ancient culture from the perspective of modernity. Employing nearly all of the processes with his own hands, the artist designed this series as a socio-cultural retrospective into humanitys basic needs for survival, cultural legacy, and interaction with the surrounding world.