After treating you with Erwin Olaf's gorgeously rendered, explosively serene images, I thought I'd offer up some palate cleansing space -- some lime sherbet after the fricasseed chicken, if you will. If the weeks leading up to Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, insert your holiday here, leave you feeling like you're in limbo, the photographs of Eirik Johnson will appeal to your divided nature. His beautiful landscapes are shot in spaces where man and nature intersect, at the edges of civilization, or in niches of human intervention that are carved out from the wilderness. I first became aware of Johnson's work in the Bay Area, where he exploded on the scene after winning the prestigious Santa Fe Prize. I ain't gonna lie, these are the photographs I wish I had taken while doing my time in da Bay, but I know of no better compliment than envy. Eirik Johnson, you are one bad muthaf- (shut my mouth). But I'm just talking bout Eirik...
I will always have a thing for staged photography -- I love nothing more than tinkering with sets and lights and taking 10 hours to compose one shot. But I also love the realness of these images. The lack of interference and manipulation is refreshing, and I like to think about the wanderlust spent finding these little hidden treasure troves of meaning. Looking at them is like taking a mental walk, a journey of open sight and sense.
See, don't you feel better now? All you needed was a little bit of space to clear all the dancing sugarplums out of your head.
(Is this where I should tell you that you can buy his book for, oh -- I don't know, a gift, if need be? Would that ruin the serenity now?)