James Caito

March 15 – April 14

In the most basic way, my work is about exploring the idea of imposing control over chaotic structures and situations.  Each piece is an attempt to bring some order to an environment that did not request it, both externally (physical control) and internally (emotional control).  This concept of control is something very personal to me as an artist.   My work is a direct response to those moments in life when we are most vulnerable, when we are completely out of control.  My artistic efforts are a response to the constant internal chaos we all suffer from throughout our lives. A chaos created by both external and internal struggles brought on by the stress of our daily lives.  My work is an attempt to bring order to an inherently disorganized existence, and provide a safe space to exist where one can take back some of that lost control, and see the structure of chaos. 

I draw great inspiration for my subject matter from science and nature: studying topographical maps, movement patterns in various swarms of animal life, the spectacular display of nebulae in outer space, utterly limitless examples of absolute organized chaos.  I also manufacture my own chaotic subject material by taking photographs from moving vehicles.  The results are unfocused blurry smears of color and light that I feel reflect the inner life of someone who thinks they are literally speeding out of control, gaining momentum, approaching some break-neck speed, panic velocity.  It is my strong desire to capture those moments and lock them down to a canvas for study and reflection.

My work is highly saturated, busy and full of color.  I like a piece of art that couldn’t decide what color to be, so it went with all of them.  I love artwork with lots of texture, works you long to drag your fingers across, like blind hands to brail type, that is the joy of collage and paper art for me.  I am trying to bridge the gap between paint and paper.  Collage allows me to work at a speed that feels more apace with my imagination and creative instincts:  fast, decisive, fun.  I derive great pleasure in the tactile nature of paper making and collage work.  I feel that paper making is a time consuming process and has a deliberate, methodical, and almost ritualistic routine.  All the paper used in my work is pulped, pressed, and applied by my hands only. 

It is my hope that my art surprises its audience and challenges what one thinks when you hear “collage art”.  It is my goal as an artist to explore this medium and play with conventional and unorthodox techniques to find new ways to express the human condition and emotional awareness.

James Caito is an independent artist for hire. Originally from Geneva, NY, James graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts and has been steadily working in the Visual and Performing Arts since college. Most recently, James worked for nine years as the Props Master/Set Designer for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse Youth Theatre Tour. Currently, James lives in Auburn, NY with his partner Jason Flanders, where he continues to develop his art and create educational and creative workshops for students of all ages who are interested in the Visual and Performing Arts.

This is Mr. Caito’s first formal exhibition, as such, he would like to extend his deepest gratitude to the helpful staff at the Cayuga Museum for providing this wonderful opportunity, and additional unending thanks to his family, friends, and loving partner Jason Flanders.