Nathan DiStefano’s paintings capture the landscape as it changes over the course of a brief time period, from a fraction of a second to a few seconds. DiStefano’s style of work has been referred to as contemporary impressionism.
These high-energy paintings recreate the landscape through minimal brushstrokes. DiStefano’s work makes use of positive and negative space, creating an optical illusion-like effect, in which the viewer’s mind can fill in the gaps to create a moving scene.
The illusion of motion that is created in the paintings allows the viewer to be aware of how much of a moving scene usually goes unnoticed. Viewers fill in the gaps as they do so, they enter into these changing landscapes. The paintings create a paradoxical effect; at the same time that viewers are drawn into the changing landscape, they also see the image from the point of view of a detached observer who moves through the landscape without noticing most of their surroundings. The visual techniques that DiStefano uses emphasize the tension between the viewer’s ability to act as either detached observer or active participant.