“Over my career as an astronomer, I became drawn to, then seduced by the changing patterns of desert lands sculpted by the glancing light of the rising and setting sun” states Strom.
Santa Fe, New Mexico (PRWEB) October 05, 2012
VERVE Gallery of Photography is pleased to present Gallery Artist Stephen Strom in a Retrospective Exhibition. Stephen Strom: Retrospective is a survey of the artist’s photographic career including color prints from seven bodies of work created over the past 35 years. The opening reception and gallery talk for this event are featured in one posting on the SantaFe.com event calendar.
Strom’s images are a journey into a world arid and infinite - blessed of a beauty that requires some eyes to adjust their notions of what constitutes beauty in the first place. He sees the world in a grain of sand, and in the wondrous forms that many grains of sand make. They intimate that the grain of sand was once a towering mountain, then a crag, then a boulder, then a rock, then a pebble, and that the world is a very old place in which such processes play out over millions of years. They sense heaven in a wildflower, and they speak to the wonder that we experience when we are able to attain a glimpse of something that we know but have never quite seen in the same way before: the pachydermatous wrinkles of ancient desert rises spotted with clumps of wildflowers; the unexpected greenery that springs up from the dry earth after a good soaking rain; the subtle gradations of color that move the eye along the stony contours of the Colorado Plateau, once the floor of silent seas. Those images attest at once to the infinite and the intimate. They are a hymn of praise to what can be held in the hand and to what the mind can scarcely comprehend.
Over the past few years, Strom has turned his eye from tellurian landscapes to those on Mars. Drawing on his professional life as an astronomer as well as a fine art photographer, he explores in his new series “Earth and Mars” the undulating shapes and colors seen on Martian desert landscapes. With an aesthetic eye drawn to the commonality of patterns manifest in Martian and terrestrial scenes, all shaped by the same forces (ancient and active volcanoes, powerful winds, water, and asteroids) he captures the profound beauty fashioned by the laws of physics---“the interaction of the elemental: fire, earth, water and air.”
Strom describes the most recent body of work, Earth and Mars as follows:
“Over my career as an astronomer, I became drawn to, then seduced by the changing patterns of desert lands sculpted by the glancing light of the rising and setting sun: light that reveals forms molded both by millennial forces and yesterday’s cloudburst into undulations of shapes and colors. In response, I began what has become three decades long devotion to capturing images of those remarkable patterns and the rich history they encode. The images in Earth and Mars represent both a 30-year visual exploration of the American landscape and the remarkable photographs produced by Martian orbiters, rovers and landers launched over the past two decades by NASA and its European counterpart, ESA (the European Space Agency). Tens of thousands of these images are available in digital form in public domain archives, which as an experiment, I decided to examine from the perspective of an artist rather than an astronomer. In doing so, I tried to imagine myself standing on the surface of Mars, or on a high Martian mountain and searching for patterns which evoke the same powerful emotional response as tellurian landscapes.”
About VERVE Gallery of Photography:
VERVE Gallery of Photography is located in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico just two blocks north east of the Main Plaza at 219 East Marcy Street. VERVE is housed in an early 20th century freestanding cottage extensively renovated so as to show off the foremost in contemporary fine art photography. The gallery spaces include a large main exhibition hall which houses the current exhibition and a smaller gallery room dedicated to showing complementary selected works by VERVE's artists.
VERVE Gallery of Photography
Email: director at vervegallery dot com
Email: Stephen.Strom at gmail dot com
Telephone: (520) 906-787
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