Refreshing view… flowers, dogs, and cats


Untitled (#07.0117) 2007, Tony Mendoza

I finally had the chance to visit Blue Sky’s exhibition of  Bob and Flowers – by Tony Mendoza. I was not very familiar with Mendoza’s work when I decided to visit the show and I have to admit that I tried not to let my first somewhat unfavorable impressions upon seeing a few dog pictures of “Bob” here and there or his “Cat” subjects – vowing to not let that bias get in the way of taking a good look.  I was quick in thinking that goofy is… well, just goofy.


Untitled, from the Ernie series, 1985, Tony Mendoza

I’m glad I looked…

I came away realizing that my own bias towards searching out only “serious” photographs – or at least what I think it means to be “taken seriously” colors my way of looking. Pun intended.


Untitled (#44.36), 2004, Tony Mendoza


Untitled (#33.068), 2005, Tony Mendoza


Untitled (#34.050), 2005, Tony Mendoza

What I realize now upon seeing the flower series – is that my attitude is pretty naive on what constitutes “serious” photography…    Mendoza shows us that ultimately any subject can be looked at and be a source for photographic inspiration – it’s nice to be reminded.  I came away with the feeling – this guy’s having fun – I wish more work I encountered would leave me with that sense of joy.

While  these may “just be flowers”, his work picturing them, clearly points out that color, structure, form, style and viewpoint can transform what you might ordinarily dismiss.  A feat not easily accomplished.  So pictures can be fun too…

See more here at Lens Culture… or Mendoza’s own web site.  The book “Flowers” by Nazraeli Press – Portland, OR – rivals the prints in quality and simple beauty…


The Altered Landscape

The Altered Landscape - New Space Center for Photography

Shirtwood Phenomenon; Maine 1963

Marianne McCarthy

I’m very excited about the opportunity to participate in the upcoming show “The Altered Landscape” opening up tomorrow night at The New Space Center for Photography. The Altered Landscape is an exhibition culled from over 200 local, national and international entries. Photographers were asked to submit depictions of an “altered landscape”.  I’m happy to offer up my own attempt – I’m even more interested to see what others have pictured and explored.

Hill [Pre-Illinoian Glacial influence, East Central Iowa]
Hill [Pre-Illinoian Glacial influence, East Central Iowa]
Matt Niebuhr – 2006

Altered Landscapes: Natural Forces is part of a series of photographs in combinations among other things…

This old hill, an apparent remnant of glacial action, is located in Eastern Iowa between the boundaries of the Illinoian glacial limit and the Late Wisconsin glacial limit – likely formed during pre-Illinoian time.

The time interval between 310,000 and 128,000 years ago is referred to informally as Illinoian time.   The time prior to Illinoian time (more than 310,000 years in age) is referred to informally as pre-Illinoian time. Several pre-Illinoian glaciations occurred during pre-Illinoian time.  I grew up in Iowa – much if not quite most of Iowa was at one time or another forever altered by the ebb and flow of glaciers  – way before any human touch – but now just how different it has become from that which I experienced some brief 37 years of my life.  And so the subtle shapes of the land of my childhood – deeply embedded in my most brief existence and memory – have been and will always be altered landscapes.

Come to the show – see what you see – First Friday opening reception is tomorrow night already – Feb 8th – 7 – 10 pm.

The show runs February 8th through 26th.

Newspace Center for Photography
1632 SE 10th Ave. Portland, OR
Monday-Friday 10am-8pm
Saturday 11am-6pm
Sunday 12-8pm