Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Life pieced together from floating images

By David Pagel @ The Los Angeles Times
Sigmund FREUD believed that great art awakens oceanic sentiments, making viewers feel connected to things larger than ourselves. Richard Misrach's most recent photographs take this aspect of Freudian thinking literally. They focus on the ocean to explore the relationship between the individual and infinity.

That sounds spiritual, if not religious, especially for the Berkeley-based photographer known for his unflinching look at chemically contaminated landscapes and nature's sublime unconcern for shortsighted interlopers. But like Freud, Misrach refuses to let his secular work be bullied into submission by traditionalists. At Marc Selwyn Fine Art, his stunning photographs of anonymous folks floating in sun-dappled seas or whiling away lazy afternoons on sandy beaches evoke the pleasures and terrors of the existential struggle to know one's place in the cosmos — and how best to live there.

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