Bosque Idyll by David Ondrik
My treatment of landscape relies on the idea that the sublime is a combination of the grotesque and the beautiful. Destructive signs of modernity - forest fires, discarded tires, jetty jacks, places abandoned - are my vision of the sublime. In New Mexico, environmental nuisances are embedded everywhere in the traditionally beautiful landscape. I am no longer enchanted by the great vastness of untouched wilderness that attracted so many photographers in the 20th century. I am instead awestruck standing on the precipice above a drought-stricken reservoir, a superfund site, a (utterly avoidable) forest fire, or an open pit strip mine. These consequences of modernity make me feel small and powerless, which is a great place to find inspiration for making art.
Shooting in black and white is a conscious effort to strip a layer of information (color) from the imagery. With color removed, the images take on a more poetic interpretation that is further enhanced by the imperfections inherent in the plastic camera used to shoot these images. Light leaks, uncertain focus, and vignette-like framing pull the images away from formal documentation of their subject, bringing them into a realm where the sublime can be considered.
David Ondrik lives and works in Albuquerque, NM.
To view more of David's work, please visit his website.