Mountain Redux
July 6, 2008, 10:20 pm
Filed under: Art, Photography

Clifford Ross
May 3rd – June 21st 2008
Sonnabend Gallery
536 West 22nd St. New York, NY

This show stuck with be because it far exceeded my expectations of what it would be like when I walked in the door. Upon entering, a viewer would see a few black and white photographs of landscapes; pretty, put not monumental. Moving further into the gallery, black and white nature photographs were transformed with simple color filters and inversions, looking a bit like the work of someone playing with Photoshop for the first time. Again, pretty, but not monumental.

However, as I walked further into the gallery, magic started happening. The black and white images became infiltrated by colorful variations of the filtered images, some seeming to fly across the images in a 3d flutter of rectangles, others creating rigid patterns reminiscent of the graphic qualities of Japanese woodblock prints, creating a fantasy landscape full of twists of color and precise geometric image manipulations. I was very impressed by the masterful technique, amazing detail, and playful sense of motion of these prints. Through his work, he seems to digitize nature, and let it disseminate and fly away, piece by piece.

Later researching Clifford Ross, I was even more impressed. These images were shot with a camera that he created himself, which was able to capture so much detail that government scientists are interested in using it for spy technology.

Clifford Ross is an artist who not only uses technology as a tool, but creates his own. In striving to reproduce the awe-inspiring presence of nature that can only be felt by being there, Ross has mastered photographic technique; and, not happy with what was available, created a few of his own.


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