TERRESTRIAL ENCOUNTERS: Death Valley
Excerpted from the Press Release for my solo exhibition "Death Valley," at ClampArt Gallery, NYC in 2005
Robert Vizzini, who has built a reputation for his nighttime studies, now has ventured into the unsparing sunlight of Death Valley. Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level, is one of the hottest and driest places on earth. Vizzin'’s photographs depict the undulating dunes and wide graceful curves carved in the sand of this desolate, stark landscape. The photographs feature such sites as the Stovepipe Wells Sand Dunes, Zabriskie Point, and Devil's View, among other locales in Death Valley National Park.
"There is a melancholic desert beauty I tried to capture," says Vizzini. The sweeping photos, with no living thing in sight, accentuate the isolation of this remote area, as if the artist found himself alone in this prehistoric landscape. This is no mean feat in a national park visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Death Valley is facing a threat in the form of drastically shifting weather patterns, with adjoining areas devastated by flash floods in 2004, reason enough to preserve and document the evolving environment, before it is no longer ours to enjoy.
The artworks in the exhibition are meticulous, handcrafted lith prints, Vizzini's hallmark style. Rather than using traditional photographic developer, the artist employs a lithographic developer, which results in delicate, warm tones that compliment the light and shadow of the desert's passing morning light.
At left: Dawn, Stovepipe Wells Sand Dunes
Death Valley National Park, California 2003