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White Water - Dalton Portella
Hook, Line and Sinker - Dalton Portella
Perfect Storm - Dalton Portella
Leaving - Dalton Portella
ARTISTS YOU NEED TO KNOW BY HEATHER BRYCE Storm Chaser Former commercial artist Dalton Portella now earns his living as a fine artist, photographer, and sometime musician. After a successful career in advertising, the last decade creating movie posters for Miramax Films –from Pulp Fiction to Aviator – he moved to Montauk to “forsake the almighty dollar to concentrate on fine art.” When he’s not at work, he can be found riding the surf on the beach near his Montauk house and studio, playing his own tunes on guitar or getting people to move to the beat of his percussion instruments. He works in watercolors or oil on canvas, often adding such things as gravel to give the surface texture. His stunning series of sharks moving magnificently through water began when he photographed the
sand tiger variety at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. He then went on to do cave diving ten-miles out to sea with Sea Turtle Charters on West Lake Drive, where he took pictures of blue sharks. “I look for subject matter when I create a series that has meaning,” he says. His mission is to “draw attention to the beauty of sharks and make people aware of their plight.” For his bird series he started by painting a bird skeleton for about a year. He then moved on to painting a dead bird he found while on vacation in Brazil.A series of blue jays that happened to dive-bomb him followed. Nowadays people call him up to report sightings, most recently a hawk on the side of Route 27. His studio contains a shelf of carcasses, which he calls his bone yard. “Birds are symbolic of spirituality and peace.” While his work centers around the representational, it touches on abstraction in his birds.
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A true storm watcher, he shoots “almost every storm that comes by.” For these he “marries the sky from one, the ocean from another and put them together,” he says.“It’s a modern approach to the classic maritime art that Winslow Homer or Turner would have done, but using modern technology.” The dramatic images went viral a couple of years ago. He’s represented by Outeast Gallery in Montauk, Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill, Solar in East Hampton and Monika Olko Gallery in Sag Harbor.
The Shirts Off Their Back Aubrey Roemer has been traveling the world pursuing a host of fascinating art projects, but the artist – whose work incorporates painting, photography, printmaking, installation, and performance – calls Montauk home. After studying art in Brooklyn at the Pratt Institute, the Rochester, NY native visited the