Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Darker Diamond, the work of John Opera

© John Opera, All Rights Reserved
I discovered John Opera's work the other day when looking at the forthcoming MP3 book by Aperture this spring. Combining Romantic landscape and modernist abstractions, Opera's photographs toy with the historicized themes of the sublime landscape and modernist abstract photography. While mixing these two disparate modes of photographic representation may seem odd, or jarring, at first, together the different images highlight the messy convergence and construct of both the exterior, natural world, and the interior, personal abstracted world.

Like artists such as Walead Beshty or Florian Maier-Aichen, the work cleverly draws on and critiques historical modes of photographic representation to explore and challenge the medium. As Opera states in an interview,

There is the photo ghetto: the photo world that folds in on itself that is only really serving itself. It’s associated with the grand failures of photography in the twentieth-century, and it includes the whole feminist critique of photography being a machismo mode of representation, or the myth of the “decisive moment,” or staging. There’s part of photography that’s still closely connected to failures in late Modernism that most other art forms have recognized and moved on from.

Find out more about his work here and here.
© John Opera, All Rights Reserved
                                © John Opera, All Rights Reserved
© John Opera, All Rights Reserved


Nelle said...

sweet russia mother:)

brings back good memories.
At the time i was shooting out of a PANASONIC Lumix DMC-TZ1

where did you take this one?

ME said...

I came across this outside of Buffalo, NY during the winter of 2004-2005. I still dream of the encounter. Most people think it was staged. It wasn't.

ME said...


Thank you for the thoughtful insights. Best, John

Adam said...

Thanks John.

Love the work and the new Aperture book looks great.