52 Photographers

Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison

I’ve been a long-time admirer of the husband and wife duo Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.

They’re work is conceptual, and centers around the “Every Man,” who interacts with the landscape and works tirelessly to repair the damage done by man’s insatiable desire for expansion and advancement.

See more of their work on their website.

Richard Long

Richard Long has been a strong influence on me as a photographer for about ten years now. His work appeals to me on several levels, among them, the hiker inside me. My favorite pieces of his are any of the lines made by walking. In making these sculptures by walking, he is "echoing the whole history of mankind." Rebecca Solnit devotes some of her book Wanderlust: A History of Walking, a book I highly recommend, to Richard Long's art.

A Line Made By Walking, England 1967

England 1968

His work is as much performance art as it is anything else. Similarly to Andy Goldsworthy, his work lives in the ephemeral, and were it not for a photographic record, or in other instances, text works, there would be no evidence of Long ever having made his sculpture. 

Leaving the Stones, A Five Day Walk With Dogs on Spitzbergen, Svalbard Norway 1995

Pujet Sound Mud Circle, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle 1997

Visit Richard's website to view more work. 

Miguel Arzabe

Earlier this year I featured the work of Klea McKenna, who referred me to today's featured artist Miguel Arzabe. 

Miguel Arzabe has some really wonderful work made by weaving posters and flyers from various art shows that he attends. It is "informed by the textile tradition of [his] Andean heritage and other indigenous american cultures. Each piece is an archive of cultural output from a specific time and place."

You can see more of Miguel's work on his website.

Maggie Taylor

I just love the digital composites of Maggie Taylor. They’re all so playful and whimsical! Especially her two bodies of work that illustrate Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass.

 It’s Always Tea Time

It’s Always Tea Time

 Explain Yourself

Explain Yourself

 All The Better

All The Better

 Beware The Jabberwock

Beware The Jabberwock

 The Same Story

The Same Story

 Night Watch

Night Watch

Here’s a video that provides some great context and behind the scenes looks at her process.

To see more of Maggie’s work, visit her website.

Carol Panaro-Smith & James Hajicek

I've long been an admirer of and influenced by the work of collaborative duo James Hajicek and Carol Panaro-Smith. I discovered their photogenic drawing work around 2004-2005 when I was really getting into making Lumen prints.

Their work hearkens back to, and indeed is directly born from William Henry Fox Talbot, the originator of photogenic drawings, the experiments for which began in 1834. He discovered that paper coated with a salt solution, then brushed with silver nitrate turned black when exposed to light, and a final coat of salt halted that darkening. He then made what is essentially a photogram, placing botanical specimens on the sensitized paper, and exposing it to sunlight. Thus, the "photogenic drawing," and one of the first successful photographic processes was born.

Today, James and Carol use variations of Talbot’s early formulas, and create beautiful pieces that are layered, possess depth, and have fantastic textures. I remember being stunned at the colors and textures the first time I saw their work, and those same feelings return each time I look at their work.

Earth Vegetation 08/17

Their compositions are so simple and organic, as if they clamped the plants between the glass and paper right where the plants grew out of the dirt.

Earth Vegetation 06/01

 A paragraph, and specifically the last half of it, of their artist statement for their latest body of work, Arc of Departure, resonates in me, and describes the experience of making this sort of work so much better than I’ve been able to in the past:

“The work evolved in stages from its initial intellectual underpinnings through a focus on the physicality of the remaining organic artifact to the spirituality of experiencing “the awe” of being in the immediate presence of this sacred transformative act - magic in its very essence, ruled by serendipity, elusive mysteries, fugitive images, and the ruling master of all – the ultimate impermanence of everything.”

Arc of Departure 09/09

Be sure to visit their website, and you can read an article about their work on Lenscratch. It’s well worth it to spend some time with their work, which can be seen at the Joseph Bellows Gallery, the photo-eye Gallery, and the Tilt Gallery.

Brooks Salzwedel

I've been a fan of Brooks Salzwedel ever since I hear his interview on the Art for Your Ear podcast. He uses graphite, resin, and colored pencils to create scenes of a desolate world.

To me, his work has a vaguely photographic quality. I think I saw his work before I heard the interview and learned about his process, and I first thought they were manipulated or collaged photographs, coated with encaustic wax. But I was wrong, and I think I love his work more for that.

His work has so much depth!

You can listen to his interview on the Art for Your Ear podcast, and see more of his work on his website.

Brooks currently has a show up at Johansson Projects in Oakland, CA.

Andrea Dale

Andrea Dale has some really lovely pieces that she titles Ash Paintings. She gathers ashes from recent wildfires and suspends them in resin, which results in an image that has the appearance of rising smoke and ash and fire. Her work falls right into that category I'm such a fan of: beautiful and yet ugly at the same time. Beautiful, because the Art of the work is beautiful, and/or well crafted, but ugly because of the content. In this case, something had to burn to ash in order for the pieces that Andrea creates to exist. She even mentions this in her artist statement:

Destructive wildfires provide the art material, while the ma, or vast empty vertical space, represent the absence of the ash's original form. The alchemy of transforming this base material into art with an emotional weight and presence, portrays a dance between grace and gravitas. My work lures the viewer in by relying on humanity’s love of beauty, but delivers a statement about the danger of living life in a state of disconnect from nature, the self, and empathy. 

Check out more of Andrea's work on her website.

Nancy Holt

Back in 2008 I wrote about Robert Smithson, and how influential he and his writings were becoming on my art then. Through all that reading I learned about Nancy Holt, who was married to Smithson. I really only remember getting familiar with only one of her works, Sun Tunnels in north-western Utah.

Holt, who passed away in 2014, really was quite a prolific artist. Many of her works no longer exist, due either to their intentional ephemerality, or to their being destroyed, as in the case of her Missoula Ranch Locators (1972), which was destroyed so that the owners of the property could build a home.

Her work was made to be an interactive experience. At Sun Tunnels, the viewer stands in one of four concrete tubes and looks through holes cut into walls that line up with certain constellations. Or, the viewer might look through two tunnels to see the sun rise and set at the winter solstice, or the other two tunnels to see the sun rise and set at the summer solstice. Through this interaction, or participation, Holt views her pieces are fully complete.

I have a strong desire to make people conscious of the cyclical time of the universe

If you feel like making the trek to the Sun Tunnels, you can find some info here: Sun Tunnels info from Utah Museum Fine Arts

And you check out the Sun Tunnels on Google Earth

You can read more about Holt here.

 

Cara Barer

Back in college, I took a book arts class, where we learned to make our own books, and learned several ways of stitching signatures together. One of the assignments was to alter a found book in a way that it changed the narrative of the story, or eliminated it altogether. Ever since, I've loved handcrafted books, and altered books as pieces of art. So when I saw a piece of Cara Barer's through Klompching Gallery, I was stunned. 

Cara mentions that a "chance encounter with a Houston Yellow Pages" served as the inspiration for her work. After that, she began searching out other books and how to recreate what she'd seen from that phone book. 

Visit Cara's website to view more of her work.

52 Photographers Is Back!

I began the 52 Photographers Blog circa 2007-2008 as a way to expand my photographic/artistic vocabulary and get to know many more photographers than I already knew and share the work of artists that I enjoyed looking at and who were currently influencing my own work.

I never actually made 52 posts, as I got super busy with other things. Posts became spaced out, and clustered, and then it finally died off, and I let the domain expire.

Then in 2016, I thought of resurrecting the idea, but instead, decided to just write blog posts on my Departures Blog with no set schedule or plan. For 2018, I debated with myself whether or not I would fully resurrect 52 Photographers or not, and I ultimately decided to take the plunge, and here we are!

While 52 Photographers will be heavily photography-oriented, I've come across artists working in other media that I am going to want to share with you! I can't wait to share the work of so many really great photographers!

Robert Smithson

I’ve missed two posts here at 52Photographers.com, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking at other photographers. Quite the contrary. I’ve been looking at many photographers and artists working in other media, but school has made it a little harder to actually put together a post about any of those artists, however short they may be.

One artist I have been looking at, and who wrote quite prolifically, is the late Robert Smithson. As the creator of the Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake, he is quite well known. Along with looking at his own photographs and photographs of his environmental sculptures, I have been reading a lot of his essays that he wrote and were published in several art magazines in the late Sixties and early Seventies before his untimely death in 1973.

Smithsons work and theories of art are completely fascinating to me, and are rapidly becoming quite influential in my own work.

Here are my most favorite sculptures:

Spiral Jetty

jetty9.jpg
jet3.jpg

Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy is more of a sculptor than a photographer, though without the camera much of his art work wouldn’t be seen by many people or any at all. Much of his work deals with the ephemeral and the transient, and the more I see his work and the more I read about him and his art the more I love it.

I am totally amazed at how sensitive Goldsworthy is to the environment he works in, and how out of place and alien he feels when he is in a new environment.

All his sculptures are made with materials found locally in the environment in which the sculpture is made. All the tools he uses are mostly other rocks, sticks, his mouth, his hands.

ag_03629.jpg
land-art-andy-goldsworthy-12.jpeg

Check out one of his many books; my favorite so far is “Time.” Also there is a documentary titled “Rivers and Tides” that is well worth watching.