Brian Forrest’s photographs are made in the Santa Monica Mountains, an often-overlooked natural environment within L.A.’s urban sprawl. Working with a large format camera, his images of dense brush and tangled branches are captured at the very low light of dusk. As the artist notes, in this diminishing light, color sensitivity fades and the world moves closer to black and white, thus exposing rather than concealing new shapes and spaces in the natural landscape. His large-scale (50x80”) photographs may appear completely black at first glance, but like the environment he seeks to convey, they gradually reveal details. As Christopher Knight suggests, “Spend a moment, and out of the inky darkness landscape imagery slowly comes into view.” Knight also discovered his own shadow on the dark surface of the artworks and observed that the viewer “becomes a shadow-figure…appearing to move through the underbrush. Like light and space [artworks], Forrest’s photographs engage perceptual phenomena to revelatory effect.”
The infinite complexities revealed in the subtle landscapes of Brian Forrest are the rewards that Rainer Maria Rilke promised, “if you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring.”
A reception for the artist will be held at Craig Krull Gallery on Saturday, December 4, 4-6pm.