San Francisco

Richard Misrach

Grapestake Gallery

Through a combination of extended time exposure, artificial illumination and print toning, Richard Misrach forges an evocative nocturnal vision of the Arizona, California and Baja deserts. In composition and physical presence, his photographs read as iconic manifestations; his rock formations, cactus and succulents vibrate with a mystical aura. Time exposure and foreshortened depth of field create atmospheric effects, stars are transformed into dashes of light, and toning intensifies a haze that is dramatic and unearthly.

Misrach’s images are pictorial and deliberately romantic, both in choice of subject and manipulation of photographic technique. Nevertheless, his pictures display a systematic investigation of form and a challenging articulation of directorial concept. By working at night, with hand-held strobe illumination, the photographer literally sculpts the subject into existence.

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