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photo-eye Gallery From the Flat-Files:
Kate Breakey's Orotones
By Alexandra JoGallery Assistant Alexandra Jo profiles a new selection of Orotones by represented artist Kate Breakey now available at photo-eye Gallery.
By Alexandra Jo

Kate Breakey calls her process “an act of investigation—a passionate attempt to establish an understanding of the natural world.” Her luminous Orotones (images printed directly onto glass then backed with hand-applied gold leaf) certainly offer a broad approach to this spirit of examination, featuring subjects from lunar eclipses, to foreign landscapes, to nude figures, to intimate portraits of the fragile bodies of insects. This week, I’ve had the pleasure of carefully cataloging this series of Breakey’s work while preparing a new portfolio of her photographs for photo-eye Gallery’s website.

Kate Breakey, Full Moon Setting, Archival Pigment Ink on Glass with 24kt Gold Leaf, 8 x 10" Edition of 20, $1,370

What first struck me about the work is the capacity for variance within this process. Each image is printed in an edition of 20, but the hand-application of the gold leaf and the custom framing that accompany the images make each work feel exceptional and unique. The way the light catches specific variations and details in the laid gold visually captivates, creating a glowing quality of tonal warmth. The works are capable of transforming before the viewer’s eyes. Each image is cast in a shimmering gold aura as light qualities shift, even in environments of low light. Breakey keeps the physical size of the works relatively small; the largest images in this series only measure about 20 x 24 inches. This offers the audience an equally intimate experience of each work, regardless of subject matter.

Kate Breakey, Chrysanthemum,
Archival Pigment Ink on Glass with 24kt Gold Leaf,
8 x 10" Edition of 20, $1,320
"Making images of these things is a natural extension of being fascinated, touched, or intrigued by them. This process of seeing, and recording transforms me. It is how I express wonder and love, a form of dedication. It is also a record of my life and my desire to connect myself to all other things, the acknowledgement of a search for explanation, for meaning and significance, a primal longing to grasp things which are unknowable."
— Kate Breakey

As a visual artist, this sentiment resonates strongly with my own conceptual intentions in the studio, especially the impulse to observe and record as a means of connecting with the wider world. The way Breakey looks at scale from micro to macro in this series makes me think about those big, enigmatic questions of meaning and significance, and attempt to orient myself as a human being in the universe. Ultimately, the inquisitive spirit and visual luster of the work are a beautiful marriage of visual pleasure and deeper emotion and thought. Breakey’s work invites the viewer to go past the purely aesthetic and draw bigger, more meaningful connections within our world.

More of Breakey’s Orotones can be viewed in her new portfolio on photo-eye Gallery’s website.

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as print editions sell.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at
(505) 988-5152 x202 or

• • • • •

» View Additional Work by Kate Breakey

» Read More about Kate Breakey

» Purchase Books by Kate Breakey

Las Sombras/The Shadows (left) 
University Of Texas Press, Austin, 2012
Photographs by Kate Breakey
Hardcover [Signed]: $75.00

photo-eye Gallery
541 S. Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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Book Of The Week Not Just Your Face Honey Photographs by Stefanie Moshammer Reviewed by Owen Kobasz Not Just Your Face Honey is a photographic series by Austrian artist Stefanie Moshammer (born 1988) reflecting on the line between love and delusion. It is based on a love letter written to her in March 2014 by Troy C., a man unknown to her, which led the artist to explore questions of surveillance and stalking.
Not Just Your Face Honey. By Stefanie Moshammer.
Not Just Your Face Honey 
Photographs by Stefanie Moshammer

Spector Books/C/O Berlin Foundation, 2019.
144 pp., 67 illustrations, 8¾x11¼x¾".

“HELLO, HELLO the Upper Most incredible, sensational, Amazing, and Beautiful girl/woman or anything I’ve ever seen!! I knocked on your door or the house you are helping at because I was looking to say Hi to my ex-girlfriend. Forget her, I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when you opened the door twice. Not just your face honey but your voice melted my Heart!”

These are the opening lines to a letter Stefanie Moshammer received in March 2014 from Troy C., a near stranger. The unprovoked letter followed a five-minute encounter one week earlier. Moshammer was staying in Las Vegas to shoot Vegas and She when Troy knocked on her door looking for his ex-girlfriend. Moshammer’s new series, Not Just Your Face Honey, uses abstract imagery to explore the emotions provoked by this overwhelming declaration of love.

Published by C/O Berlin in conjunction with Spector Books, the eye-catching photobook is covered in a deep green, almost reflective, vinyl fabric that changes, like a holographic card. The first pages showcase Troy’s letter — not as a text supplement, but rather, as an object. Each of the three images zooms in closer than the last, inviting the feeling — to open such a document. The letter is then broken up into fragments scattered throughout the book among Moshammer’s images, intertwining the two narratives into one, new object.

“Please, Please stay in our Beautiful, wonderful country and you can stay with me at my awesome House anytime”, reads one page. The following photographs trace a journey: A sign for Interstate 15, pointed towards Barstow, CA. The mountains. A strangely beautiful camper, mirroring the surrounding desert. Gas stations and motels. The open road. And finally, car headlights shining on a suburban house. Blurred figures walking the street.

The images are inconsistent. Some are color, others are black and white; one may take up a whole page while another is the fraction of the size. Through these images, however, a narrative is carried. In some ways it is an exploration of what Moshammer’s life would have been like had she accepted the offer, had she driven out of the state and stayed in Troy’s “Awesome” house. Troy’s words serve as the frame for Moshammer’s photographs, Moshammer’s photographs illustrate how the words may actually feel.

At no point in the series, however, is there a truly idyllic image of love. The first formal picture is a satellite image with Moshammer’s address highlighted in an orange circle, which immediately invokes the ideas of surveillance that have become especially poignant in the age of GPS smartphones. Although by accident, he does know where she lives, giving him power and altering the dynamic in any relationship to follow

The letter Moshammer received was addressed to “Austria Girl.” Stefanie Moshammer is Austria Girl, but Austria Girl isn’t just Stephanie Moshammer. The lack of a name in a document this intensely personal goes on to highlight the impersonal nature of the whole affair. Moshammer captures the impersonal nature in her portraits — they’re faceless. Faces are cropped out, covered by jackets, or intentionally blurred, leaving bodies, without identities, doing things.

Three uncovered portraits do appear towards the end. They are, however, so washed out that it’s nearly impossible to make out their facial expressions. Like ghosts viewed through very thick glass, there is nothing that you can discern about them — they could be anyone or everyone.

Not Just Your Face Honey is more than a reaction to this bizarre love letter. It uses the scattered format found in the original document to put forth a powerful exploration of love, illusion, surveillance, and identity. Throughout is an outsider view of America, through beautiful landscapes and open roads, as well as more sinister elements. “I can be your ticket to USA citizenship” — and a page of bald eagle stamps with a lone image of a woman in bubble wrap, an exotic export. Moshammer creates a narrative of impressions, inviting the viewer to follow her feelings on this bizarre occurrence.
Owen Kobasz edits the blog & newsletter at photo-eye. He holds a BA in the liberal arts from St. John's College and takes photos in his free time.

photo-eye Gallery Gallery Favorites
Christopher Colville – Flux
Anne, Lucas, and Alexandra highlight three notable images from Flux, currently on view at photo-eye Gallery through Saturday June, 22nd.

Christopher Colville’s exhibition of unique, camera-less, gun-powder generated photographs, titled Flux, opened at photo-eye Gallery on April 26th to an intrigued, perplexed, and ultimately enraptured audience. Colville’s one-of-a-kind photographs are enthralling in both their creation and their visual presence. It is easy to get wrapped up in the thrill and mystery of the process when looking at photographs created without a camera by igniting gunpowder directly onto photographic paper onsite in the desert at night. Indeed, understanding that process can be an important aspect of looking at and responding to these explosive abstract images. However, Colville’s work also has the distinct ability to speak directly to individual viewers on a powerful personal level. Each piece uniquely evokes fantastical landscapes, captures bursts of violent action, opens up enigmatic celestial maps, or creates murky, gossamer atmospheric texture in a way that allows each viewer to enter the work in their own way. This week the photo-eye Gallery staff was charged with the seemingly-impossible task of picking a favorite piece out of this compelling and captivating exhibition. Read more on their selections below.

Anne Kelly Selects Dark Hours Horizon 101

Christopher Colville, Dark Hours Horizon 101, Unique Silver Gelatin Print, 3x12" Image, $3,180, Framed

Anne Kelly
Gallery Director
(505) 988-5152 x121
The works by Christopher Colville that are included in our current exhibition Flux are unique photographs that are made without the use of a camera, but with simply the essence of photography–light. Each composition is pure abstraction which is the orchestrated result of tiny gunpowder-fueled explosion on moonless nights in the Arizona desert.  Though the images are abstract, I have noticed that gallery visitors have started to see objects within the imagery like planets, rocket-ships, cactus', and more. The piece that I’ve fallen in love with is Dark Hours Horizon 101, a tiny tryptic that reminds me of a stormy desert landscape. So there you have it, I continue to be attracted to unique, expressive landscapes that connect to my own personal experience. I also love the scale of this piece, it just asks you to slow down and take a closer looks at the surface and beyond. Over the horizon hang stormy clouds where an epic storm is blowing in. The surface of this print almost looks like rusted metal, and on closer inspection, there is just a touch of iridescence, which I recently learned is possible in certain rare clouds. Dark Hours Horizon 101 is a tiny abstracted landscape created by a small explosion–what is not to love?

Lucas Shaffer Selects Fluid Variant 2

Christopher Colville, Fluid Variant 2, 2015, Unique Silver Gelatin Print, 12x15" Image, $3,550, Framed

Lucas Shaffer
Special Projects & Client Relations
(505) 988-5152 x114
Like my colleagues, I had a difficult time highlighting just a single image from Christopher Colville's impressive collection in Flux. This is my favorite type of photography, it's tactile, experimental, material-based, cameraless, and unique. Fluid Variant 2 stands out for me due to its bold design, sense of balance, and expressive nature. A precise, but broken, diagonal, bisects the picture plane perfectly separating light from dark, the concrete from the organic. The effect is striking. A burst of energy erupting from the center dramatically joins these two disconnected planes breaking the diagonal, evenly cutting the image again vertically, and throwing the lighter portion into fluttering chaos. Paired with Colville's rich rust-colored print tone the overarching effect of Fluid Variant 2 is earthly and elemental. More than any other work I've seen recently, Colville's images seem physical, their representations of movement, weight, texture, and material are extraordinary. I've probably already spent hours viewing Fluid Variant 2 delighting in its consummate aesthetic and meditating on its dynamic paradoxes. Overall, the image is enigmatic with an impressive design that leaves room for personal interpretation and reflection.

Alexandra Jo Selects Dark Hours Horizon 87

Christopher Colville, Dark Hours Horizon 87, Unique Silver Gelatin Print, 3.5 x 4.38" $1,280, Framed

Alexandra Jo
Gallery Assistant
(505) 988-5152 x116
In a recent conversation with Christopher Colville, we discussed the writing of Cormac McCarthy, as Colville uses a quote from Blood Meridian in one of his artist statements that happens to be a favorite of mine. In the discussion, we spoke about the landscape of the desert, in which Blood Meridian takes place, and what that specific environment means to each of us. Colville's entire process often takes place outside at night in the open desert. We agreed that there is a violence to that landscape, but also a specific loveliness, and talked about McCarthy’s ability to articulate darkness and beauty simultaneously. For me, Colville’s work is also able to do that; it emphasizes the dichotomy and symbiosis between light and dark, and reveals the allure of the shadow.

Dark Hours Horizon 87 was my favorite work in Flux the instant we pulled it out of its shipping crate. The image is one from Colville’s Dark Hours series, which features mostly smaller works, each resembling desolate and mysterious landscapes. The placement of gunpowder in lines and ridges on the photographic paper implies a physical horizon line when ignited to create the image, allowing these camera-less photographs to obliquely point to the environment in which they were created.

Dark Hours Horizon 87 in particular is only 4 x 5 inches and offers an intimate examination of Colville’s mercurial physical process, drawing the viewer in with flashes of iridescence in the dark, ethereal atmosphere of its “horizon.” The colors of the image range from rust to copper to metallic blues and greens, down through magentas and deepest blacks. The way the smoke and light from this explosion swoops skyward conjures images of ravenous prairie fires, wind-swept cloud formations over vast desert mesas, and the feeling of standing alone and vulnerable in the openness of nature under boundless stars and galaxies. Ultimately for me, the power of this tiny image lies in its ability to evoke the colossal, enduring power and chaos of nature and the cosmos that has always been beyond complete human reckoning.

• • •

Christopher Colville: FLUX
On view through Saturday, June 22nd

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or
All works listed were available for at the time this post was published.

Book Of The Week Atlantic City Photographs by Brian Rose Reviewed by Blake Andrews Atlantic City was born in the mid-nineteenth century and grew so big, so fast, that it captured the American imagination. It was 'the World's Playground'. Its hotels were the largest and finest, its nightclubs legendary, its boardwalk an endless promenade. And then, as it began to fade, the casinos came. And instead of reviving the city they killed it.
Atlantic City. By Brian Rose.
Atlantic City  
Photographs by Brian Rose

Circa Press, 2019. 
128 pp., 11x12¾x2¼"

"Cities are built on closeness and connection, not on voids." This insight comes near the end of Paul Goldberger's introductory essay to Atlantic City, the new photobook by Brian Rose. "New Jersey's Potemkin village," Goldberger calls it, and Rose's photos confirm the judgement. The voids upon which cities are not built appear here in force, in virtually every image. There are 58 total in the book. Altogether their mood is relentlessly downcast. If you have some affinity for Atlantic City, look away. This book will not be cheery.

How did the city arrive at this point? Its long, sad decline is probably familiar to most and too lengthy to expound on here. For those curious, Goldberger's essay provides a concise local history from an architectural critic's perspective. To summarize, the metropolis which began as an aspirational symbol —"the world's playground" and the very root of the board game Monopoly!— hit one bottom after another throughout the 20th century. The advent of legalized gambling in 1976 was meant as a financial panacea. Instead it accelerated the collapse, as charlatans and confidence men rushed in feed on the helpless house of cards.

Against all odds, one of those swindlers eventually became the president of the United States. In some ways, Donald Trump and Atlantic City were a perfect match, a smooth-talking huckster set free amid the shady casino underworld. The result was perhaps inevitable. Trump sucked the city dry and then walked away, cynically capped by a lawsuit to have his name removed from its buildings.

It may be simplistic to blame all of Atlantic City's ills on Trump—his void was merely one of many—but his cartoonish-tycoonish persona fits nicely with photos of foreclosed blank facades. When Goldberger calls the city "a curious combination of the tawdry and the aspirational," he might be describing the president.

Rose holds an even less charitable view of the president. Just past the book's gilded end pages, one of the opening photos depicts the derelict Taj Mahal built precariously atop the nearby beach. Even stripped of its Trump signs, the building's message reads loud and clear: a glittering chimera built on a sandy foundation. To drive the point home, a short caption on the facing page recalls Trump's failures in Atlantic City.

The photo/text juxtaposition sets the pattern for most of the book's photographs. Images appear on the right page, supported by short bits of text on the left. There are drop quotes from politicians, pundits, and journalists recalling various promises made and broken to Atlantic City. Some of the text is by Rose himself. Perhaps a third are actual Trump tweets bragging about how he successfully ditched the city. Great timing…Not responsible…When I left, it went to hell. Etc.

Rose's photographs make a very good case for the place going to hell. The architecture was already terrible even before urban decay set in —"airport hotels with casinos attached," according to Goldberg. Before Rose's lens it looks even worse. Using large-format color film, he captures a broad swath of urban decay with each exposure. His tendency is to step back a bit from his subject matter, allowing some empty foreground —usually paved— into the bottom. The upper parts of the photographs reveal a shifting chiaroscuro of walls, advertisements, empty lots, weed patches, beach, parking garages, utility poles. This is the in-between vernacular, the daily detritus that normally contextualizes subject matter.

In Atlantic City, Rose forces the vernacular into a leading role, with obvious shortcomings. Although Atlantic City has almost 40,000 residents, you wouldn't know it from Rose's photos, which are largely uninhabited. The tone is post-apocalyptic or, if you prefer, post-Trump.

Is this a selective version of Atlantic City? Of course. No doubt one could wander the streets and find pockets of activity. But Rose sought out the empty spots instead, following a political agenda. The end result is a strong photographic and cultural statement. Thumbing through the book, one can't help wondering, as Goldberger does, "is Atlantic City emblematic of what is happening to the country as a whole?"

That national history is still being written, so we don't yet have an answer. Rose's book might be considered the nightmare scenario. Judging by the president's track record in Atlantic City, wider carnage is not implausible, and Rose's book might be seen in five years as an ominous warning. Will we spin the wheel and take another chance? Or call it good and walk away?

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at

photo-eye Bookstore Isa Leshko Book Signing
Allowed to Grow Old
Saturday, May 4, 4-6 pm photo-eye Bookstore is proud to welcome acclaimed photographer Isa Leshko to Santa Fe for a book signing and artist talk celebrating the release of her new monograph Allowed to Grow Old, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Allowed to Grow Old. Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries. Photographs and text by Isa Leshko. 
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2019. Hardbound [Signed] $45.00

In Our Bookstore:

Isa Leshko: Allowed to Grow Old
Book Signing + Artist Talk
Saturday, May 4th, 4–6 PM
photo-eye Bookstore | 1300 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe, NM 87507 | (505) 988-5152 x201 

» Directions to the Event
» Purchase a Copy of the Book

photo-eye Bookstore is proud to welcome acclaimed photographer Isa Leshko to Santa Fe for a book signing and artist talk celebrating the release of her new monograph Allowed to Grow Old, published by the University of Chicago Press. The book signing and artist talk is held in conjunction with an exhibition of selected works from Allowed to Grow Old at Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque, on view from April 26th – June 7th, 2019. Beginning at 4pm on May 4th, Leshko will be available to sign copies of Allowed to Grow Old as well as perform a reading from the book, discuss her practice, and take questions from the audience until 6 pm.

Allowed to Grow Old is a dignified and affectionate portrait series of elderly animals living on farm sanctuaries. Prompted by an event in Leshko's personal life, Allowed to Grow Old is a treatise on mortality through the lens of animal rights. Images of Teresa, a thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Pig, or Melvin, an eleven-year-old Angora Goat, make us aware of just how rare it is to see a farm animal reach an advanced age. Rescued from abuse and neglect, the animals are circumspect of strangers, and Leshko often spends hours attuning with each animal ensuring they feel safe and comfortable before she makes even a single image. The effect is charming, challenging, and ultimately unforgettable.

In the book, each portrait is accompanied by a brief biographical note about its subject and is rounded out with essays that explore the history of animal photography, the place of beauty in activist art, and much more.

By depicting the beauty and dignity of elderly farm animals, I invite reflection upon what is lost when these animals are not allowed to grow old.” – Isa Leshko

Isa Leshko. Photo by Ron Cowie.
Isa Leshko is an artist and writer whose work examines themes relating to animal rights, aging, and mortality. Her images have been published in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times among others. Isa has received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Culture & Animals Foundation, the Houston Center for Photography, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. She has exhibited her work widely in the United States and her prints are in numerous private and public collections, including the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

photo-eye Gallery New Work: Mitch Dobrowner – Nacreous Over Badlands Mitch Dobrowner’s newest photograph, Nacreous Over Badlands, elegantly captures the ethereal bands of nacreous clouds above Utah's desert buttes.

Nacreous Over Badlands, Factory Badlands, Utah, 2019, Archival Pigment Ink, 20x30" Image, Edition of 25, $2500

In keeping with his acuminate style, Mitch Dobrowner’s newest photograph Nacreous Over Badlands is patient, elegant, and boundless in its sense of temporality. For this image, Dobrowner visited a specific site in Utah, waiting for the perfect instant in which the landscape would visually reveal itself in all of the exquisite, hostile, sublimity that he feels there. That moment arrived when he captured the ethereal bands of a nacreous cloud formation over the undulating folds of the desert buttes below.

“Nacreous” technically means iridescent, or glowing in bright color, and that atmospheric depth of value is strikingly captured in Dobrowner’s signature black-and-white style. In both earth and sky, every detail is crystallized in the photograph. Distant mesas show a shift in scale but are just as legible as the primary desert features of the foreground. The earth’s vastness beneath the firmament becomes blatantly apparent.

At the heart of Dobrowner’s work is the concept of perpetual ephemerality on a universal scale. In this particular image, the harshness and enduring stillness of the desert underneath striations of wind-blown clouds directly contrasts shifting changes of atmospheric motion with the seeming constancy of stone. However, just as the wind has swept up the shimmering cloud formation and carried it across the sky, it was also responsible for patiently carving the rippling rock formations. When viewing the photograph, the viewer becomes aware of the different scales and ratios of time that are constantly at work in the natural world around us.
"The deserts of the American Southwest have always been the inspiration and foundation of my photography. Particularly Southern Utah, which is a unique, special place. Its remoteness, serenity, and extremes are like no place on the Earth. I've visited this particular location, just outside of Capitol Reef and the San Rafael Swell, in the Factory Badlands many times -- always waiting for something to happen that would allow me to illustrate how this wild landscape spoke to me. In mid-March 2019 that something special took place. 
These badlands are part of the Mancos Shale formation; geologically they were created more recently than most other parts of the Colorado Plateau. The top of these buttes are formed of Emery sandstone, overlying the Blue Gate shale. The environment is hostile, devoid to any type of plant life. To experience it is like experiencing what it would be like to stand on an alien planet." – Mitch Dobrowner

Mitch Dobrowner
Nacreous Over Badlands, Factory Badlands, Utah, 2019

Edition of 15
14x20": starting at $1,500

Edition of 25
20x30": starting at $2,500

Edition of 5: 
1 : $5,000
2 : $7,000
3 : $9,000
4 : $11,000 
5 : Held by artist

To purchase prints of the new image at the first tier price-point please contact Gallery Staff 
at 505-988-5152 x202 or

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as print editions sell.

• • • • • • •

Current Exhibition:

An exhibition of unique gunpowder-generated silver gelatin prints by Christopher Colville

Exhibition on view through Saturday, June 22nd
All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. 

photo-eye Gallery Christopher Colville: FLUX
Behind the Image
Opening & Artist Reception: Friday, April 26th, 5–7pm Phoenix-based photographer Christopher Colville discusses making one of FLUX's signature images Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere 4

Christopher Colville – Meditation on the Northern Hemisphere 4, 2011, Unique Silver-Gelatin Print, 20x24" Image, $4000

Christopher Colville’s photography is unexpectedly graceful. One might anticipate a more blatant violent effect when viewing images created by firing gunpowder on top of silver gelatin photographic paper, but Colville’s works evoke a range of descriptive words like fluid, subtle, dark, mysterious. However, there is certainly a sense of explosiveness prevalent in the work; the gunpowder physically burns and erodes the photographic paper even as it activates the light-sensitive silver gelatin to create Colville’s ethereal, yet tactile images. Interspersed with the more fluid atmospheric photographs, some of the works bring to mind a spray of fireworks across the sky, lunar bodies, eroded metal, or a brutally pockmarked topography. Colville claims that he is inspired by the idea of making work that is the “direct result of an action,” and that inspiration is overtly present across each work.

photo-eye Gallery is excited to welcome Colville as a represented gallery artist with Flux, a solo exhibition opening Friday, April 26th from 5-7pm. Flux features images from three different series by Colville. Dark Hours includes images that resemble landscapes, and the most recent works, or Flux Variants, are all created with long, narrow paper.

The earliest series featured in Flux, called Meditations of the Northern Hemisphere, features images of large, circular orbs centered in the composition. This series is created using a metal disc, punctured with a pattern of constellations, which is placed in on the paper during the explosions. These works create a celestial map of sorts. In a recent conversation with photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly, Colville elaborated on the process and conceptual framework behind the Meditations on the Northern Hemisphere series:

"A few years ago I had a conversation with a friend while camping in the desert. We were discussing understanding the calendar and time through the night sky and were trying to remember the season of specific camping trips by constellations we had viewed around the campfire. The following weekend I found a metal disc in the desert that reminded me of maps I had of constellations when I was a child. Wanting to better learn the night sky I punched out a map of the constellations on this metal disc to use as a scaffolding or negative to filter gunpowder driven exposures. The small burn marks in the circle are a rough map of the night sky. Each of the prints in the Northern Hemisphere series is made with the same map, using varying combinations of powder and pressure to allow the piece to transform. These were the first variant prints I made." – Christopher Colville

FLUX Installation Views

• • • • • • •

Opening & Artist Reception: 
Friday, April 26th, 5–7pm
Come meet Christopher Colville!

Exhibition on view through Saturday, June 22nd
All works listed were available for at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 505-988-5152 x202 or

Book Of The Week Nothing's Coming Soon Photographs by Clay Maxwell Jordan Reviewed by Blake Andrews Nothing’s Coming Soon is an extended meditation on the signs and signals that life is the greatest unsolved mystery. Photographing the beauty that’s to be found in the everyday, Jordan lets us feel in a palpable way how we’re always a half step away from joy, death, disintegration and renewal.
Nothing's Coming Soon. By Clay Maxwell Jordan.
Nothing's Coming Soon Photographs by Clay Maxwell Jordan

Fall Line Press, Atlanta, USA, 2018.
94 pp., 59 color illustrations, 9¼x11½".

Nothing's Coming Soon, the title of Clay Maxwell Jordan's debut monograph (Fall Line Press, 2018) is a phrase wide open to interpretation. That's just fine by Jordan, who deliberately chose the title for its ambiguous qualities. "Perhaps the most obvious interpretation," he explains, "is that dead/non-existence is imminent… Literally 'nothing' is coming soon." Hmm, okay.

"The other meaning," he continues, "is perhaps a bit more oblique: a repudiation of the 'overnight cure' mentality that seems so predominant the world over, but particularly in America." A third meaning, according to Jordan, might refer to human progress. The arc of the moral universe may indeed bend toward justice, but hang tight because it might take a while. Nothing's coming soon.

Like the title, the photos in Jordan's book don't reveal their meaning easily. Ostensibly they are portraits and landscapes describing Jordan's home state of Georgia. But their emotional resonance, halfway between mischievous and graceful, defies easy penetration. Portraits of people comprise roughly half of the book's fifty-nine photos, but Jordan's deadpan approach keeps his subjects at arm's reach. Some subjects are caught gaping mid-moment. Others turn their back to the camera, or leer into the background. It's tough to form any sure judgement about them, and indeed Jordan himself doesn't know much. These are strangers found in passing. Perhaps nothing's coming soon for them. But who can tell for sure?
Jordan takes a cagey approach to social landscape. The lush vegetation of the south makes its presence felt, but in a supporting role. Instead, toys, statues, and vernacular structures step into the spotlight, sometimes quite literally. There are a few domestic interiors in the mix too, their character stripped to flat tones by Jordan's flash. Bit by bit, Jordan gets at the southern vernacular. A moody church nightscape conveys the local sensibility as well as a hunting decoy. But it's the universal themes that expand the territory. Photos, like a dog leaping for joy, or light passing through branches, or a blank house facade, recall southern giants like Eggleston and Steinmetz.

The entropic passage of time is a recurring subject. Photos of a splintered utility pole, a mangled culvert, a discarded note, and a busted mural hint at devolution, all capped by a mansion in despair —a home inspired by Oscar Wilde, the anecdote recounted in Alexander Nemerov's (Diane Arbus' nephew) afterward. Jordan's wit, however, keeps his photos from descending into the old ruin porn schtick. Instead, he acknowledges decay with a nod and a wink. Yes, nothing's coming soon. But it's less of a tragedy than irony.

At first glance, the book's elegant design seems out of keeping with its clever contents. The title is in gilded script, across a plain pink cloth cover. Not very ironic at all. But a visit to the Fall Press site made things clear for me. The book is modeled on a funeral program, "forebod(ing) an exploration of life’s most pressing issue: death." Ah, makes sense now. Hopefully that version of nothing is still far off. In the meantime, Jordan's book is an entertaining interlude.

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at

photo-eye Gallery New Exhibition
Christopher Colville: FLUX
Opening & Artist Reception: Friday, April 26th, 5–7pm "The photograph is essentially a transformation orchestrated by an artist" is the mantra of Phoenix-based photographer Christopher Colville, and his new solo exhibition Flux at photo-eye Gallery exemplifies the maxim.

Christopher Colville: FLUX 
Opening & Artist Reception: Friday, April 26, 5 – 7 PM
On View: April 26 – June 22, 2019

» View FLUX

“The photograph is essentially a transformation orchestrated by an artist,” is the mantra of Phoenix-based photographer Christopher Colville, and his new solo exhibition Flux at photo-eye Gallery exemplifies the maxim. Enigmatic, emotional, and explosive, Christopher Colville’s unique silver gelatin prints are contemporary in their execution and methodology while their appearance seems timeless. Crafted using controlled gunpowder-based explosions Colville records the blast’s energy as it travels across traditional light-sensitive photographic paper yielding abstract images that are expressive, not descriptive. photo-eye Gallery is proud to welcome Colville as a represented artist, and Flux will open Friday, April 26, 2019, with a reception held from 5–7 pm corresponding with the Last Friday Art Walk in the Railyard Arts District.

Christopher Colville, Fluid Variant 2, 2015, Unique Silver-Gelatin Print, 13x15" Image, $3,250
The images in this series meditate on the dual nature of creation and destruction. They are created outdoors at night by igniting a small portion of gunpowder on the surface of silver gelatin paper. In the resulting explosion, light and energy abrade and burn the surface while simultaneously exposing the light-sensitive silver emulsion. I loosely control the explosion by placing objects I have gathered in the field on the paper’s surface, but the results are often surprising and unpredictable as the explosive energy of gunpowder is the true generative force creating the image. I believe that by working in these ways, the images push the material and symbolic limitations of the medium. They turn the photograph inside out while creating something that is both serendipitous and elemental. The images are the residue of both creation and obliteration, generated from a single spark.”  – Christopher Colville

Christopher Colville, Photograph by Josh Loeser
Born in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona, Christopher Colville received his BFA in Anthropology and Photography from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and his MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico. Chris has taught in multiple institutions including as a visiting Assistant Professor at Arizona State University as well as working as the photography editor for Prompt Press. Christopher’s work has been included in both national and international exhibitions. Recent awards include the Ernst Cabat Award through the Tucson Museum of Art, Critical Mass top 50, the Humble Art Foundations New Photography Grant, an Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Project Grant, a Public Art Commission from the Phoenix Commission on the Arts and an artist fellowship through the American Scandinavian Foundation. Christopher’s work has been reviewed in national and international publications including Art in America, L.A. Times, Boston Globe, and GUP Magazine. He currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.

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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 
505-988-5152 x202 or

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as the print editions sell.

photo-eye Gallery 2019 Group Show
James Pitts Interview
Interview by Alexandra Jo photo-eye Gallery is pleased to feature three of Pitts’ new color photographs in our 2019 Group Show on view through this Saturday, April 20, 2019.
Interview by Alexandra Jo

Prints by James Pitts installed at photo-eye Gallery for the 2019 Group Show.
James W. Pitts is a Santa Fe-based photographer widely recognized for his gentle, understated platinum prints created from large-format negatives. Whether in color or black and white, his work nods to elements of minimalism and Zen Buddhism in its simplicity and elegance. photo-eye Gallery is pleased to feature three of Pitts’ color photographs in our 2019 Group Show.

photo-eye Gallery Assistant, Alexandra Jo, recently spoke with Pitts about his creative process and different approaches he takes to make his artwork:

James Pitts – Dried Gourd, 2018, Archival Pigment Print, 17x9" Image, Edition of 5, $650

Alexandra Jo:     Your work in the 2019 Group Show is in color, whereas much of the work you’ve shown at photo-eye previously is in black and white. Do you look at the two approaches differently? Do they have a dialogue with one another or progress in a certain way in your overall body of work?

James Pitts:     I actually do a lot of different kinds of work. I’ve photographed flowers for a long time and have worked in both black and white and color photography over the years… I am really open to doing lots of different kinds of things with my art. photo-eye Gallery usually shows the flower pictures and platinum prints, and I’ve kind of gotten known for that, but in all of my work I really just photograph whatever appeals to me visually. The flower pictures aren’t really about the flowers so much, it’s just an opportunity to take a picture. I’ve been very interested in taking photos of objects for a long time, and anything I photograph is really about using the formal elements of photography, things like lighting, composition, etc.

AJ:     That kind of leads into my next question about how you set up your photographs… In a previous conversation with photo-eye Gallery, you mentioned setting your photographs as if they're on a stage and working to find different backgrounds that appeal to your aesthetic. Can you go into more detail about both the process of finding backdrops and setting the stage for your photographs?

JP:     I pretty much rely on chance. I gather things up and put little stage sets together. The photographs in this show that have Jackson Pollock-esque backgrounds are actually papers that were the backs of two of my paintings. I saw them one day and thought they looked interesting. I like photographing things from more than one angle, turning things around, finding comparisons and dialogues someone might find by looking at them… that’s why there is a diptych [in the show] of the same vase and leaves from different angles. I also like photographing things that are small because it’s easier to find an interesting background for small things. I like the intimacy of something small… I even prefer small prints to bigger ones. I can find more interesting paper that has odd stains of metal that has a pattern, and backgrounds that are seamless. You can also see things that you don’t normally see when working small. You are able to pick up things that otherwise go unnoticed.

Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for failure, but chance is definitely a big thing for me. I don’t have any kind of slick philosophy for what I do; I’ve just been in love with photography since I was a kid.

James Pitts – Dried Gourd Leaves Diptych, 2018, Archival Pigment Print, 11x17" Image, Edition of 5, $650

AJ:     I like that idea of chance and opportunity for failure. Could one say that there is a spirit of experimentation in your approach to art?

JP:     Yes, I do think with painting experimentation is more available. You’re not relying on using a machine, but using your body and responding to the materials. But it’s like Eggleston said: “[Photography] is a democratic medium.” It relies on what you choose, what you edit. I like to think about what you don’t include in the photograph instead of what you do include. Everything is available and it’s up to you to decide what you put in front of the lens. I don’t like to put so much self-importance on the process. If people respond to [the work] I’m welcome to the possible creative dialogue.

AJ:     Well, one thing that I strongly respond to in the work is the connotation and subtle reference to Zen Buddhist aesthetics like minimalism, geometry, simplicity and natural texture. Has that culture directly influenced what you find visually or aesthetically pleasing?

JP:     Yes, that culture is very influential on what I find aesthetically pleasing. I’m a minimalist. I don’t like having a ton of things around, so it’s better for my eye to not have a lot of things. It’s been a part of my life for a long time.

AJ:     So that carries over to your aesthetic preferences in photography?

JP:     Yes. I think you’re influenced by everything you see all the time. I have big heroes in art… I love Matisse, Cy Twombly, etc. and I may be influenced by them on a certain subconscious level. But I think you’re influenced by everything you see.

AJ:     The three works in this show are of wilted, shriveled, dying plants, whereas a lot of your other photographs of flowers are of living plants in the prime of their bloom. Was there an influence or specific purpose behind your shift in focus between plants in their prime vs. plants in stages of decay?
James Pitts – Wilted Yellow Tulip, 2018, 
Archival Pigment Print, 17x11" Image, 
Edition of 5, $650

JP:     Subconsciously, I think so.  The photograph of the wilted flower in the exhibition was taken after an eight-year relationship ended. It’s been a difficult time dealing with that because it kind of came out of nowhere, and around that time a friend had said something about how beautiful dying things are, so all of that may have played some sort of subconscious part in the wilted flower, and the wilted gourd photograph.

Also, I like using the backs of books for backgrounds sometimes, and in that wilted flower photograph, I used an Anselm Keifer book that shows a painting he did of collapsing buildings. I love that contrast between the wilting flower and the collapsing concrete structure. It was a coincidence that I pulled that book out and happened to find the juxtaposition interesting. I also just think it’s interesting what age does. It brings some perspective that just gets more interesting as I get older.

AJ:     So is there anything that you’re working on currently, or a different direction you think your work might take in the future?

JP:     I’ve always been interested in the same things, taking photographs, objects, some things have just taken longer to make. I’ve always worked in series. I’m interested in building from what people do in “unintentional art...” I have a series of photographs of utility covers from Tokyo in which I arrange them in a grid. I’m interested in portraits; I have a series of portraits that have never been shown. I love the texture of peoples’ skin and just the way they look… it’s pretty fascinating that we are all different. I’ve also been building boxes recently, thinking about the sculptural element of objects. I’ve also been working with 35mm film to make blurry images. I just love film cameras. Something about using film is really elaborate and nice. But I don’t think my work is going in any different direction… it’s all just a continuation of those things I’ve always found interesting.

I have a friend who is a painter who never shows her work, but to me, if there is no one to see the work it’s kind of pointless. And whether it’s liked or not is kind of irrelevant, I just enjoy the dialogue. Connecting is the most important thing in my world, and in life, for me. Art has been a part of my life for a long time, and luckily I don’t have to make a living off of it, I can just love doing it. Being able to do art and have someone look at it is part of that. I just like doing art, and if I can connect with another person, that’s wonderful. ■

photo-eye Gallery's 2019 Group Show remains on view through this Saturday, April 20th. If you're in Santa Fe, please stop by to see this diverse collection of new and notable works by ten acclaimed represented artists.

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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 
505-988-5152 x202 or

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. Prices will increase as the print editions sell.

2019 Group Show
on view through April 20, 2019

» View work from the exhibition

Select Included Artists:

» Julie Blackmon
» Kate Breakey
» Mitch Dobrowner
» Michael Kenna
» Clay Lipsky
» Beth Moon
» James Pitts 
» Reuben Wu 
» Brad Wilson