Maybe it's because I was recently driving around Northeastern New Mexico, watching the impossibly beautiful sunset over the Rio Grande Gorge, looking back from the depths of a dark chasm at a dazzling mountain lit on fire by the sun north of Taos, eating the sand in Chimayo (I'm probably not supposed to put that in writing), climbing through an unbelievably narrow slot canyon where the warm wind blew the 107 degree heat off my brow...
This just a month or so after leaving the review tables of Palm Springs Photo Festival
to climb the snow covered peaks above the golden valley and then wander into the Mojave Desert. Then my former boss from Los Angeles appeared and packed me off in his car to drive to Joshua Tree and remember something we'd both forgotten. It was more than the silence of those strange rocks and hidden caves and hollows in the land. More than those extraordinary trees and the spiky plants. Really it was the light. Remember when we were photographers? When the beauty of the light could bring us to our knees, inspire awe, push us to stand printing in the darkroom until the dawn, and make me leave my view camera on its tripod for a whole season? Yes. I do. And here in the midst of jurying Issue 12, the curators' issue, of Aint-Bad Magazine
, one artist who's work I'd never seen, brought me swirling back over the shifting sands: Cody Cobb
. His images from the West have jolted me. Here is what the artist had to say about this project and his pictures and his experience, and I couldn't agree more:
These photographs were made while roaming the American West in search of true solitude. It's a search that's becoming more of a challenge as civilization spreads, so these dreamlike moments are reminders of how quiet the wilderness can be.
Cody Cobb is a photographer based in Seattle, Washington. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in the small town of Blanchard. His photographs attempt to capture brief moments of stillness from the chaos of nature. For months at a time, Cobb devotes himself to wandering the American West in order to fully immerse himself in these landscapes. With careful composition and consideration of natural light, the Earthly formations he photographs appear to exist in an alternate and mysterious dimension.