February 19, 2015  •  Leave a Comment




It’s difficult to complain about being crazy-busy when everything is so good – but may I just say, 2015 is already in contention for busiest year ever!

January’s showing at Photo LA was an enlivening, inspirational, and educational whirlwind of an experience – especially with two other simultaneous exhibitions presented at separate locations by the Arts District Alliance and LA Art Show.


St. Madeleine Catholic Church - Infrared Exposure - Trona, California - 2010PRAYER CHANGES THINGSAn unmistakable strengthening of faith exists amongst populations suffering economic and environmental hardship. The wide spectrum of vernacular religious expressions often creates a surreal dissonance with the desert landscapes they punctuate.

St. Madeleine Catholic Church – Trona, California – 2010
Infrared Exposure – First printed: 2014

Presenting a stark, Brutalist exterior, the Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat Roman Catholic Church was completed in 1958. Perhaps the height of Cold War contributed to the creation of such an imposing structure, though a central stained glass feature, not visible from the outside, brings unexpected warmth and luminosity to the interior. The California desert offers a tough environment for any being, so the church may indeed be well suited to Trona, a struggling 100-plus-year-old mining town on the southern border of Death Valley.

Arid: Journal of the Desert –
Prayer Changes Things: Desert Faith in Trona, CA 2015


St. Madeleine Catholic Church - Trona, CA - 2010


High & Dry, my collaboration with writer/historian Christopher Langley is in the midst of publishing a three-part series on the Salton Sea. High & Dry is a regular feature on KCET’s Artbound, where our work seems to be connecting with audiences far and wide (our Emerald City of Salts Dispatch has received over 2400 likes on Facebook!) Chris and I are currently working on a book based on our long-term investigation of Trona, CA, a company town struggling to survive on the southern fringe of Death Valley. Trust me, you’ll hear about that soon. Hint: crowd-funding.


Sky, Whitecaps, Earth, Halobacteria – Salton Sea, California – 2014Sky, Whitecaps, Earth, Halobacteria – Salton Sea, California – 2014First printed: 2015

California’s largest lake was formed by accident in 1905, when the Colorado River Aqueduct broke free from irrigation canals and surged for two years into a low desert basin. Today, the lake is drying up. The distinctive red species of archaea forms only in highly salt-rich environments, like the increasingly toxic Salton Sea.

Outdoor Writers Association of California – Best Feature Photograph – 2016
KCET's Artbound –
The Salton Sea: A Distillation of the West’s Problems in Search of Solutions – 2016
Sky, Whitecaps, Earth, Halo Bacteria - Bombay Beach (Salton Sea), CA - 2014


Coming up this April, I’ll be exhibiting in a two-person show at Chungking Studio with Bill Leigh Brewer as part of the MOPLA (Month of Photography LA) juggernaut, curated by Shana Nys Dambrot. Then in June, I’ll have new work (possibly infrared exposures from September’s Africa trip) at Art Share LA in an exhibition titled Haunted Landscapes, alongside some very talented colleagues.

What else? I am so pleased to have work featured in Duncan Miller Gallery’s They’re a curated collection service with a very fine range. If you have not checked them out, I encourage you to subscribe. It’s one of the few emails I look forward to every morning.


Wildebeest Running with Tree - Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya - 2014Wildebeest Running with Tree – Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya – 2014Infrared Exposure – First printed: 2015
Flirting with Disaster: Africa
Wildebeests Running & Tree - Maasai Mara Nat'l Park, Kenya - 2014

Quick note to collectors: I've already instituted a new 2015 price list (modest, yet I’m told, important increases), but through the end of February, fine art prints purchased directly from Chungking Studio are available at 2014 prices. Big thanks to early collectors for your support!


So busy is good, right? As they say, it beats the alternative.


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