In her newest body of work, Dora Somosi presents recent photographs accompanying explorations of the natural landscape and the terrain of digital manipulation. Drawing on personal history and art historical motifs, the photographs in Altered Landscapesare governed by pressing dualities: life and death, beauty and destruction, admiration and fear. The resulting images, printed both in standard and tondo formats, brim with ambiguity and an almost melancholic solitude. This series brings together two distinct threads in Somosi’s practice. Armed with a camera on walks and hikes, Somosi captures the joyful reverence and calm of the surround. In tandem, she also began to photograph aging bouquets—records of moments both happy and sad—left on a sill, scorched by the sun. The two series converge through the digital distillation of the hues captured in the leaves and flowers into pure color fields, then overlaid onto land, sea, and sky-scapes. Somosi manipulates their original coloration, both seamlessly and obviously. As a counterpoint, other images have had their natural saturation completely removed. In either case, the photographs require us to refocus our expectations of a given scene. Often, they achieve an eerie sense of perfection -- though perhaps fragile and fleeting --whose authenticity is deliberately dubious. As such, Altered Landscapesis indebted both to time-honored and cutting-edge photographic practices. Bridging the romantic en plein air with studio-based, technology-forward techniques, these seemingly opposed models nevertheless share therapeutic capacities. For at the heart of this project is a palpable, if invisible danger. Beneath the the real softness of the tondo--a circular ode to the earth, to our eye on the earth--is a fear of our commensurate opportunity to destroy it. Likewise the flowers, though ravishing in life as in death, appear here as the vanitas: a reminder of the inevitability of change. Somosi invites her viewers to look with attention at a seductive, supposed natural beauty, never forgetting all there is to lose.
17 x 17 and 17 x 22 : Framed: $850 ; Unframed: $600
16 x 24 and 24 x 24: Framed: $1450; Unframed: $1,000
24 x 34 and 28 x 28: Framed: $2,000; Unframed: $1400
Additional sizes available on request
All photographs framed by Pranayama Art, 831 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238