With his eyes boring into mine, MALTESTE the artist-photographer, affirmed he’s in a creative period, where it seems to me he has little control over the number of hours he spends working. This man, in his early fifties, gives off an intensity that looks to be the result of a long period of gestation. He confirms my suspicions, “My artistic statements of today are the result of thirty years in the making. It’s a dam that’s finally broken…do you know what I mean?” All this is said in a calm, reflective manner.
This passionate figure who sits in front of me, astonishes and draws me in one sure gesture.
Outside of his visceral need to create and his sensitivity to the strong yet fragile beauty of our planet, it’s his adventurous side, especially present in him, which so obviously constitutes the base of his artistic research.
It is his adventurous heart, which has taken him from the wildest regions of Canada, to the confines of the Kenyan Savannah, from the American desert to the Seychelles Islands, that has carried him so far. He attributes this to his paternal ancestor, whom he admires greatly. In the middle of the eighteenth century (1749), at the age of fourteen, Jean-Marye MALTESTE left his family and his country to establish himself in Nouvelle France (Canada). “Nothing can stop me! Like him, I love exploring new places and living on the edge. Illuminated by his memoirs, I discovered that we have in common my deepest-felt values; to know true freedom and tenacity. The way of life he chose, to live so isolated, found an echo in my own need for solitude”, adds MALTESTE, not without a touch of humour.
Today, following the example of his forefathers, he explores wide-open spaces and the smallest details in his search for beauty untouched by civilization.
“I love to be engulfed by the atmosphere, the sounds and subtle scents of nature. I love to observe, meditate, and with the help of my tool (camera), I capture these elusive moments for eternity. These raw images seized in the moment are for me moments of intense emotion. And it’s this emotion that I want at all costs to find again in the fine art photographic work that I create.”
In light of his body of work, it appears that MALTESTE is among the pioneers exploring expressionism in photography. His wildlife and landscapes artwork are deliberately more expressionist. Born from the heart of the European depression, expressionism concerns itself with all forms of artistic expression – not just painting and film. Expressionism in photography is quite new. MALTESTE expressionism, is influenced by the German school, detached from the aspect of suffering sanctioned by the European school and oriented instead towards an expressionism associated with spirituality, poetry and the edges of romanticism.
Studying the works of MALTESTE permits us to see the personal touch of the artist, the method of creating his own style with a combination of subjects, the perfect light and by his use of high performance tilt & shift optics coupled with a large variety of neutral filters. With his expressionist landscapes we are transported into a vast, mysterious world which at first glance demands to be tamed. Identifying the place where the photography was taken becomes truly secondary to the place in our minds where the landscape takes us. Joyau millénaire (1509), Trinité II (9459) and Piliers de vents (7735) are good illustrations of the essential expressionism of MALTESTE’s style
Paradoxically, the photographs that feature wildlife also bring us back to our deepest humanity. Just like Humeur fringante (2783) gives us a taste of energy and enthusiasm, Le chef (7025) suggests confidence and serenity. Paresse royale (7156), Complicité (8558) et Bonheur filial (9735) speak of the same: classic human states of being, perfectly realized. The first is displayed in the office of the vice-president of a pharmaceutical company in Boucherville, and Paresse royale playfully watches over clients in the Montreal headquarters of an international graphic art enterprise.
The photographs of MALTESTE also set off a cry of alarm. “My work gives me a privileged view of the beauty that surrounds us. My photographs hopefully give an eloquent example of this wealth that we could collectively lose by negligence or lack of concrete action faced with uncontrolled exploitation. We must take seriously what’s at stake for the planet.”
The emotions, the soul, the point of view and the originality that presents itself in MALTESTE’s photographs confirms our view that the artist pushes adventure to the limits in his search for the sublime, captured and offered to us as unique, distinguished works of art.
Photographic works that surprise’s and challenges for sure.
LIGHTS, SOUL AND EMOTIONS HUNTER
Written By: Cécile M.
Translation: Julia Harris, Montreal
All Photographs Are © MALTESTE
MALTESTE Photographer Bio
Born in 1962 (52)
Was drawing before walking
Studied ART for 3 years
Studied 3D Design for one year
Studied Business at University for 3 years (Bachelor)
Started Photography in april 1984 (30 years this month)
Owner & creator of the first Canadian High End Fine Art photography gallery dedicated exclusively to the artwork of MALTESTE.
Blog / Website: MALTESTE – In Search of the Sublime
MASTERCLASS available: Please contact MALTESTE at email@example.com
MALTESTE PHOTOGRAPHIE EXPRESSIONNISTE inc.
Montreal, QC H2Y 2V1