Michael Berman - OPEN OCEAN Artist Statement.

I have spent much of my life on and around the ocean. I have been drawn to the ocean since I was a child, observing the waves and dreaming of what exists beyond the horizon.

Water was one of Aristotle’s primary elements. The ocean makes up two thirds of the surface of the earth and more than half of our body weight. In it’s pure form, water lacks shape and color. Only as it relates to its environment, wind and sky, does water transmit form, color and texture.

I made these photographs in the wilderness of the open ocean, away from the obvious influences and threats of man. They are “landscapes” of the sea. A record of a vast and open prairie of water, where one can literally see to the edge of the earth. As I moved with the sea, the horizon appeared and disappeared behind the jagged edge of the passing waves. Each wave was unique - never to be repeated - and lasting only a moment.

I am also intrigued by the mysterious riddle of place in the open ocean. On land, geographic features are permanent and allow us to recognize location. At sea, the ocean’s features are constantly changing and except for latitude and longitude we are unable to recognize or know a location.

These images are titled with latitude and longitude to express this mystery. They were made in a specific location, a location that can be plotted on a map, but was also distinct to the moment when the image was made.

The ocean is directly connected by creeks, streams and rivers to man’s abuse of the land. It may appear vast and able to absorb every insult, but the sea itself and the animals that live in and near the sea - including man - are threatened. I hope that my seascapes of the open ocean help, if even in a small way, to make viewers pause to think about how human development is effecting the ocean and the life it supports.
 

Michael Berman Photography . 3460 Larson Lake Road . Port Ludlow, WA . 98365
360.732.0693 mjberman55@earthlink.net
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