MY ART PHOTOS
ARTIST STATEMENT: IMAGES OF THE HIGH DESERT
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I see Nature as a powerful entity. We mere mortals sometimes forget and underestimate her force, vigor and determination. Even though we can inhabit her realm and even thrive there for a time, especially in the harsher areas, sooner or later she will grin, with a knowing and slightly evil smirk, and begin the process of taking back what is hers.
I am fascinated by the people who have chosen (we always have a choice!) to live in isolation and in such stark and unforgiving environments. The abandoned buildings I have found have started to shed their layers of experience – of hopes, dreams and despair -- in ultimate relinquishment. Although to the casual observer these structures and objects seem insignificant -- empty of life and beauty, ugly shells of the trappings of technology and modern living -- I see a story, a living core, a history, in those ruins.
Taking a very close look, at details, juxtaposition, contrast, the preservation of the desert climate and its destruction, the lives and stories unwind. What may at casual and first glance appear to be trash and garbage, literally littering the pristine desert floor, become subtle, powerful images, created unwittingly by the shedding of layers, the peeling of exteriors, the baring of the soul of objects and dwellings as Nature reclaims her own.
I find grace and poetry in the stark and harshly lit desert landscape. In my images, I emphasize the “bones” -- the structure of the land and the clean graphic Zen of the wide open spaces and details. I want to convey in these images and spaces a feeling of peace, colored with a touch of almost romantic longing for the days when the West was truly wild and free. But I also want to strip them of color and emphasize the form, heighten the contrast, the essence. The contrast of the clean open spaces and the marks humans have made are at purposeful contrast.
My work is about taking a close look at what might so easily be ignored. It is trying to see the mundane in a new light, taking something small, commonplace, barren and even ugly and showing us a different side. It is about making us think twice about what we might have ignored, unveiling to us the amazing and unexpected beauty.
The small and insignificant lives, the unremarkable and empty landscapes, lacking in drama, have meaning and endurance after all...
... Marva Marrow