Mark Rothko

Smoke, Collegiate Peaks

Smoke, Collegiate Peaks

Smoke, Collegiate Peaks

I am a formalist in my compositions most often; in other words, the forms and structures of objects are of great visual inspiration for me. Translation: I like abstracts. Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollack, de Kooning, Clifford Still all carry great emotional weight for me, and often, my photographs exhibit this influence.

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Mark Rothko Tribute, Alda

Mark Rothko Tribute, Alda

Mark Rothko Tribute, Alda

Mark Rothko’s abstracts perplexed me as a teenage photographer; how could I, as an artist who was a child of the Paul Strand photographic reformation, reduce images to their true essence, simple explorations of color and light? I experimented for a decade with Renoir-style textures, Degas-inspired colors, and last January, with this Rothkoesque essay on the winter grass and tree belts along the Platte River. I have never Photoshopped this image; other than minor curves correction, the photo appears how it came out of the camera.

What are your thoughts (I’m looking for truth here)?