These Californian photographers look east into the long forgotten desert for their inspiration
California has always been an enigmatic being. It is both glamorous yet sordid; welcoming yet oppositely so. From the North to the South, East to the West, California has an extremely variable urban, suburban, and rural landscape that oscillates between rich and famous and poor and sleazy. Contrary to Americana belief, there is no one single definition to California. And it seems that these photographers realize that, focalizing on the culture that exists in the desert regions of the East and forestry locales of the North for inspiration.
Lennette Newell’s Platinum award-winning work, King Vulture (ABOVE), showcases a beautiful close-up of the king vulture, with its “preening behavior” as a way of emphasizing “the wart like protuberances & colorful wattles unique to the vulture.” Although this specific subspecies of vulture is native to Central and South America, the vulture is iconic to the Northern California region where Newell is based. She utilizes the king vulture as a means of bringing “attention to the illegal wildlife trade.”
Similarly desert-based is Patrick Curtet’s work for Genlux, entitled The 25th Frame (ABOVE). Demonstrating an old Americana aesthetic that is more akin to The Wild One than anything else out of the Eastern part of California, Curtet’s photography spread for Genlux presents a world that is both rugged and sterile. With a hazy look and a strong sense of masculinity, Curtet’s series is tantalizing and modernist in perspective.
Be sure to submit your work to Graphis’ Annual Photography Competition before time runs out! The deadline is August 28. Winners will have the opportunity to see their work published on our website, blog, newsletter, and social media platforms.