Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

August 6, 2008

Richard Misrach

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 4:19 pm

Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, SF, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, LA, and Pace/ MacGill Gallery, NY

A brief article about Richard Misrach and some of his current landscape photographs made in Hawaii, was just published in Smithsonian (Augutst 08)

A couple of excepts: So even his picture of a lone couple on a beach can be vaguely unsettling: their isolation underscores their vulnerability, and the photographer’s long-range viewpoint is clearly that of someone watching….he scannned th negatives into a computer, and sometimes digitally removed people, heightening the feeling of isolation.

And Misrach states in the article, the new work is of a piece with his focus on people and the environment, but he says “its much more about our relationships to the bigger sublime picture of things”.

Interesting to find this article while I am working through my thoughts, feelings and landscape photographs that deal with realationships and staring to bring in a human element.

As well as my thinking about digitally altering my photographs to further emphasise a concept. So that gets to the question, am I a documentarian who is showing you what I have found and seen or not? I could see how Misrach’s photographs could be accepted as a form of recorded reality (documentary), but in fact they have been altered. Thus the patterns of people on the beach are a design element that he created to develop his concept and point that he was working on.

Interesting and makes you wonder about some of his earlier environmental work and how much and to what extent those photographs were altered?


  1. I was lucky enough to catch the Misrach exhibition at the National Gallery. The photos are both serene and sinister.

    I’m not sure that knowing they are altered changes how you think about them. The photos seem to overwhelm any technical considerations.

    Comment by matt — August 6, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

  2. The comment about “alteration” is just intended to be a personal recognition of his creative process, it does not change how I feel about his work. I think that his photographs are stunning and successfully convey his intent.

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — August 6, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

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