Lately I’ve been really interested in and drawn to projects that are broader in scope and made of more than the standard 15-20 images. Christopher Rodriguez’s Between Artifice and the Sublime is definitely one of these. The series focuses on the inextricable relationship between nature and artifice and the human role within this dialectic. With upwards of 50 images, it’s difficult to represent it well in a 10-image selection. I love the colors that almost seem to glow and the dreamy, foggy effect in the pictures. These qualities, combined with the subject matter, absolutely communicate to me the word “sublime” and its meaning in today’s artistic landscape. When I hear the word “sublime,” instead of grandiose, awe-inspiring scenes of nature untouched by man, I actually think of thrift store paintings in gaudy frames, much like the one included in Rodriguez’s series. This image I call to mind makes me feel like the sublime nowadays is a joke, like there’s no place actually left that would elicit a response of utter veneration.

From the artist’s statement: Collected through a series of road trips over the course of five years, the impetus for the project stems from a desire to evaluate our evolving paradigm of Nature. The project consists of intermingled groups of photographic genres: archetypal landscapes, street photography and abstractions, but my focus is on the interrelationships between juxtaposed images that necessitate formal and poetic associations. Separately the images isolate myths. Together they aim to demystify Nature through a process of self-aware photographic representation.

This project is rooted in the American Landscape tradition of painting and photography, and specifically uses the 18th century concept of the Sublime as a principle for re-evaluating our relationship to Nature. My anxiety over human and ecological fragility shapes my perception of the landscape and gives form to these emotionally charged images. I am looking for moments when the everyday turns bizarre and surreal; where atmosphere and emotional content bonds images together.

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Found via: Humble Arts Foundation