Klett’s Saguaro series steals the show
I recently had an opportunity to view a variety of works by photographer Mark Klett. Klett is a geologist turned photographer and professor of art at Arizona State University. His work is held in over 80 museum collections and he is the author of 15 books.
The exhibition I viewed was a cross-section of several bodies of work (Half Life of History, Camino del Diablo, Yosemite in Time, and others). In one, he rephotographs famous Yosemite locations based on the work of prior great photographers. In another, he digitally merges his landscape photographs into historic photographs and other documents.
But the set that stole my heart was a selection of cactus portraits from his “Saguaro: Desert Citizens” portfolio. The set (40 images in total) was photographed on large-format Polaroid film, and the prints made at 16 x 20-inches on silver gelatin paper from the pull-apart Polaroid negatives. These are straight-forward, full length portraits of saguaro cacti in the Arizona landscape. Each cactus has its own distinct shape and personality.
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