2021 - Ongoing
Los Angeles, California, United States; Joshua Tree, California, United States; Salton City, California, United States; Kīlauea, Hawaii, United States; Three Rivers, California, United States; Lone Pine, California, United States; Aguanga, California, United States; La Tour-de-Peilz, Vaud, Switzerland; Mecca, California, United States
Plausible Landscapes is a series of fictitious landscapes. They are superimpositions of three unrelated color photographs that were never intended to coexist. For each photograph, only one color channel of the RGB colorspace is kept. A new landscape emerges where the photographs overlap. With careful positioning and contrast filtering the artist never has to resort to physical masking. Once converted to black and white, the antagonistic colors are blended into a seamless amalgam, their diametrically different hues now sharing a grayscale value, lightness and darkness. It is an experiential exercise rather than precise science. The process is similar to loading three color strips of film into an analog filter-equipped photo enlarger and exposing a sheet of black and white panchromatic paper. The resulting images do not hold up to scrutiny. Absolute precision isn't the goal, nor necessary. It is this careful arrangement of coincidences that allows the artist to lead the viewer across an imaginary line of plausibility. The inference of reality lies right at this threshold. Add an erudite description, albeit dubious, and doubt about what is true might just set in.
A good deception rarely relies on wildly altered facts which are easily verifiable. Instead, a little massaging here and there is all that is needed to mislead. The remnants of the source photos are purposefully left around the edges to hint at the process. It is one thing to dabble in conjecture, but one should always be clear about one's intentions. The resulting softness of superimposing images that were never meant to be together imparts on the results a nostalgic quality reminiscent of yesteryear's low definition lenses and overly sensitive to blue orthochromatic stock. A pervasive feeling that something is off makes the images difficult to judge, compositionally and in the choice of the subject. They tap into a past that is familiar but never was. All photographs are by the artist.