Stephen Capogna | Artist Profile Photo
Stephen Capogna
Hinsdale, Massachusetts
In a striking example of hyperrealism, Stephen Capogna’s body of work manages to capture the essence of macro photography in highly detailed acrylic paintings. Stephen’s inspiration initially came from golf courses near his home. The work focuses on the minute details of sporting goods, from the lightly scratched dimples on a golf ball to the individual fibers on a tennis ball. He works exclusively from his own photographs using an innovative airbrushing technique. Stephen utilizes a large spray gun at the beginning of a painting for color application in large areas. He then wields a small airbrush for the finer details, using templates hand-cut from mylar to create edges and shapes. “One of the biggest defining moments for me was incorporating the airbrush into my process of painting,” Stephen says. “Because I am limited somewhat with studio time, the airbrush allowed me to move much quicker.
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Artist Statement

In 2002, I began making small sketches of scenes from golf courses in New England. In 2007, the sketches developed into a series of drawings depicting the life of a golf ball from tee to cup. I worked primarily from observation. In 2010, the work called for a larger scale and a more intense focus on the ball's trajectory from tee to cup. I began to spend more time on the courses, photographing with a high-speed camera and shooting videos. Working from frame to frame allowed me to capture the golf ball in motion and at rest. At this large scale, the golf ball became monumentalized, and I became mesmerized by the play of light on the dimpled surface of the ball and by the simple beauty of the course itself. In 2017, I began working on a series of close-ups. These works highlight the unique characteristics of everyday sporting objects, from the dimple of a golf ball to the stitching on a baseball. It's what makes each painting unique.

Artist Background

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2001
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