Gallery Art – William Lesch – Rainbow and Ocotillo Over Tucson


1 in stock

1 in stock

Artist: William Lesch
Title: Rainbow and Ocotillo Over Tucson
Medium: archival pigment print
Size: framed: 28.25″ h x 25.25″ w

“…Living in the desert, I have learned to observe not snow, but light. I recall becoming fully aware, for the first time, of the ability of light to transform the landscape. It struck like a blow. Particularly at dusk, when the conditions are just right, the intensity of light can be overwhelming. It is as if someone has left open the door to a celestial blast furnace, light and color spill out over the land like lava. Bathed in this unearthly radiance, each twig, each needle of cactus is illuminated, distinct, alive. You feel as if for one brief instant a great secret is being revealed.

Being a photographer, this was a light I could not resist. I had been trained to see the world in shades of gray, but here was a light that could not be contained by the austere formality of that medium. My early attempts had a marvelous subtlety of tone, but there was not the immediacy, no urgent pulsing of light. Forays into color were dismal; the film was stiff and inflexible by comparison, allowing little variance of contrast or hue. Out of impatience with the materials, and based on the precedent of earlier photographers, I began to experiment with light. Through much trial and error, this has developed into my current working method. Using colored light as a painter uses pigment, and working at night, I build the photographs with layers of color. This is often combined with a normal exposure, made in daylight on the same sheet of film. The total time of the photograph can extent to several hours.

…I spend a lot of time in the desert. The movements of sun and cloud, wind, rocks, water – there is about these things a feeling of benediction; an unbounded grace. It is a feeling almost of homecoming, but the way is unclear. I am the product of a culture that has looked too far into the fire to ever again stand before nature totally innocent. What began as an experiment has become for me a weird ritual of exposure, performed in the dark of night more by intuition than logic. In some strange sense, it is a way for me to reach out and touch something ancient with a modern hand: a bridge, across the gulf of civilization, to a power far greater than any human creation.”

Expansions by William Lesch