The desert Southwest echoes with tales of rustic beauty and untamed wildness. In “Beyond Reckoning”, photographer Christopher Colville transforms its unruly history of violence into fiery splendor with his unique, elemental photograms, on view at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City through November 19, 2016.
“Coyote #6, 2016” unique gunpowder generated gelatin silver print from the series “Beyond Reckoning” by Christopher Colville (courtesy of Rick Wester Fine Art, NY).
Colville has devised an inventively volatile technique of placing discarded targets of various designs onto photographic paper with a bit of gunpowder and igniting them to create unique photograms. When developed in a traditional B&W darkroom, the dark consequences of their destructive power are revealed in photographs with visual and metaphorical impact. National anxieties over gun laws and preservation of the natural environment are magnified in imagery that evokes both life and death.
“Target D8, Target E2, Target D9 (2015-2016)”, unique 16×20 and 20×24 gunpowder generated gelatin silver prints from the series Beyond Reckoning by Christopher Colville (courtesy of the artist and Rick Wester Fine Art, NY).
Colville’s gorgeous, earthy hues, gritty textures and swirling patterns exude both a coarse volatility and an ethereal radiance. The dichotomy enables his photographs to seem at once physical and spiritual, graphic and symbolic. In mining the desert’s harsh terrain and detonating its discarded secrets, Colville unleashes tempestuous images, as stunning as they are ominous.