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Photographer's Showcase: Kyle Ford -- Forever Wild

Field with Light, 2012 -- Kyle Ford
We are pleased to announce a new portfolio of photographs from Kyle Ford: Forever Wild.

In his previous series featured on the Photographer's Showcase titled Second Nature, Kyle Ford explored the intersection of man and nature, specifically, how we represent and consume the natural world, how through our concepts of beauty, we selectively preserve it. A commanding oak tree sits center frame, branches extending past the limits of the 42x80 photograph. It is, as humans have dubbed it, majestic, but it stands alone, its less aesthetically appealing neighbors long-gone to centuries of development. Ford's images show us a massive sea creature behind glass, a roller-coaster recreation of Everest, an indoor jungle and LED representations of beautiful natural scenes, all depictions of our love and appreciation of nature, but also the human need to control and contain it for comfortable consumption.

The Flood, 2011 -- Kyle Ford
Selective preservation and mankind's complex relationship to nature are also central to Ford's new series, Forever Wild, a project focusing on the wilderness of New York State and the inhabitants of the small communities in these areas. Known by the blue line that designated them as protected public land in 1890, the Catskills and Adirondacks were to "be forever kept as wild forest lands," and remain so to this day. It is, technically, the largest area of protected land in the continental US, however, Death Valley, with three million acres of entirely publically held land is the biggest; half of the land within the Adirondack Park's boundaries is privately owned.

Matthew, Wanakena, 2011 and Boat Launch At First Snow, 2012 -- Kyle Ford
The breakdown of land ownership within this 'forever wild' area is an expression of the push and pull between the human and the natural. Ford's images seem to focus on the intersection of these forces, existing in a strange limbo. While each image shows traces of human presence, the human element does not overwhelm the landscape. Many of the indications of man feel outdated; images show the rundown facades of buildings, fading signs, and evidence of the recent hurricane and flooding show the constant negotiation of human development and natural forces. Ford's portraits are particularly striking. Outfitted for their surroundings, his subjects display a different kind of alertness, a placid engagement, not with the photographer himself, but with their surroundings. The mountainous Adirondack landscape, pock-marked by lakes and other bodies of water, is well loved -- millions of visitors annually use the park for recreation. They are attracted to its beauty and its wilderness, wilderness that endures in a constant state of preservation. -- Sarah Bradley

Ford's series is still in progress, and we hope to bring you new images in the future.

See Kyle Ford's work on the Photographer's Showcase here

For more information on Kyle Ford's photographs, please contact Anne Kelly at photo-eye Gallery by email or by calling the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202

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