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Archive for August 10th, 2013

David Maisel Oblivion 1382-52nI really don’t have the time to really get into the work of photographer David Maisel but wanted to at least pass on a few of his images as well as a link to his website.  Initially, I came across some of his black and white views of Los Angeles taken from great altitudes, transforming the landscape into an abstract form that feels darkly uneasy and machine-like, the urban sprawl constantly self-replicating.  I am drawn to aerial imagery and these pulled me in at once.

David Maisel  Terminal Mirage 22But going to his site, I was hit with a wide spectrum of images that knocked me out.  Color filled views of geometric beauty shot over the Great Salt Lake. Creepy shots of clear-cut forest zones in Maine with massive piles of logs splayed out like toothpicks.  Images that capture what he calls the apocalyptic sublime in the aftermath of Mount Saint Helens.  Images in black and white and in colors that come off as shocking of mining sites.  It was stunning work that captured the environmental impact of the continual push of humans into all spaces– beautiful and terrifying at once.

David Maisel Library of Dust 1165Even the parts of his body of work that seem to stray from his aerial assault on our perceptions were fascinating.  X-rays of antiquities.  A series called Library of Dust that shows the degradation of copper canisters containing the cremated remains of patients of an Oregon Insane Asylum who died there between the 1883 and the 1970’s, all unclaimed by family and forever resting anonymously in a decaying building.  Thousands of these sealed copper cans lining simple shelves while time works its magic.

It’s all remarkable and thought provoking work.  As I said, beautiful and terrifying.  I could see myself getting lost in any of his projects.  I encourage you to check out his site and see for yourself.

David Maisel  Terminal Mirage 19 David Maisel  Terminal Mirage 18 David Maisel  Terminal Mirage 8 David Maisel Oblivion 1381-41n David Maisel Oblivion 1380-45n David Maisel  Terminal Mirage 20 David Maisel Untitled [Library of Dust]

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