Tag Archives: Pristine Landscape

Summer Re Runs: Kevin Thrasher

I’m stepping away from Lenscratch this week to work on a new personal website and prepare for upcoming photo activities…wanted to reintroduce you to some wonderful photographers featured several years ago, today with Kevin Thrasher.

Kevin Thrasher’s images have a wonderful combination of unsettling charm. He has a knack of finding moments and locations that while normal and natural, also leave room for alternate interpretations. Born in Birmingham, Alabama and now living in Richmond, Virginia, Kevin received his BFA from East Tennessee State University and his MFA from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He had a long list of exhibitions in 2010 including the forthcoming Collectors Guide to Emerging Art Photography published by the Humble Arts Foundation in NYC.

Photography seemed like the only option that I wanted to pursue in school. I wish there were a more glamorous way to talk about the choices that led me to photography, but photography was the only thing that I ever thought I really wanted to do over a lifetime. Photography made sense. Making photographs is a way for me to go out into familiar or unfamiliar places and discover things. I like going out and getting lost in a new place and making pictures there. The world is an awfully interesting place and you can make work where ever you are.

His series, Common Ground, looks at how we interact with the natural world, and the series Brown’s Island is a work in with similar themes but focusing on a specific place.

There is no pristine landscape. There is only the land that we have. We got to nature or other more socially controlled spaces to enjoy ourselves. Recreation takes us from our own backyards, to other places where we can connect with nature or experience moments of leisure.

The photographs exist in between accepted ideas of landscape and these newer more controlled spaces. People are making the best of the spaces that they have access to. Many of the locales often sustain the idea of community where people are drawn together for mutual purpose. We have come to accept these interstitial spaces as our nature.

Images from Brown’s Island

Edward Burtynsky’s View From Above

Edward Burtynsky while on location in Spain, 2010.

“I’m always interested in how humans shape the landscape,” says photographer Edward Burtynsky, a master at documenting the effects of industry on the nature for more than 20 years. “All my work is really about the pristine landscape being pushed back as a result of the expanding human footprint. And I kept thinking of farming as one of the largest terraforming events that humans have exercised on the planet.”

That interest is the inspiration behind Dryland Farming—on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery—one of two exhibitions paying tribute to Burtynsky’s career in New York City this fall. The other, on display at Howard Greenberg Gallery, takes a broader, retrospective look at the photographer’s 25-year career.

Dryland Farming features topographic landscape images from the Monegros region in northeastern Spain that the photographer shot from a helicopter about 2,000 feet above. “The colors and the shapes were like nothing I’d ever seen before,” Burtynsky says. “It reminded me of the abstract paintings of the 20th century, like [Pablo] Picasso’s Guernica.”

Burtynsky photographed the series in 2010, and the work is part of a larger project called Water, which the lensman began in 2008 and expects to complete in 2013. “I like to take a theme and start building ideas around it and trying to find the visual correlations to those ideas,” Burtynsky says. “Water was an interesting one to try to capture visually, especially if you look at agriculture in all its different forms as a subject that relates to water. The incredible farms and farming methodology in the Monegros region in Spain were certainly a huge part of that.”

Dryland Farming will be on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York from Oct. 26-Dec. 10. The Howard Greenberg Gallery exhibition in New York is on view from Oct. 27-Dec.10.

Feifei Sun is a reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @Feifei_Sun or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.