Photography

JEFF BROUWS, Photographer

1-40, Tennessee, 1997, 18″ x 18″ archival pigment print from the series: Approaching Nowhere © Jeff Brouws

1-40, Tennessee, 1997, 18″ x 18″
archival pigment print from the series:
Approaching Nowhere
© Jeff Brouws

In the late 1990s, photographer Jeff Brouws had a gallery in Santa Barbara called BIG. As Jeff describes it: “Big. Two small rooms devoted to art that doesn’t fit.” The gallery was a gold mine for Santa Barbara—work was shown by artists Michael Blaha, Lucy Brown, Colin Gray, Ed Gregory, Philip Koplin, Keith Puccinelli, Bob Marks, Guy Williams, and Jacqueline Woods (just some of them).

I was wondering recently, what’s happened to Jeff? As it turns out, Jeff has been up to a lot. Before you read this, check out his web site. Next go to the Craig Krull Gallery website featuring his work. That will tell you the most of it. If you come back to this page, you’ll know what I am talking about.

Much of life is so common to us that we don’t pay attention to it. Well, as historians know, the mundane tells everything about who we are. The particulars of it are the grit of our life experience. What Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Director the M.I.T. Human Dynamics Lab says about our digital footprints, applies here as well, “As we go about our daily lives, we leave behind virtual bread crumbs…these bread crumbs tell a more accurate story of our lives than anything we choose to reveal about ourselves.”* As Jeff photographs the blue highways littered with diners, funky motels, gas stations, or remnants of such, his camera shows a society spurred by the gas-fueled engine, experiencing a boon, and then it takes a dive. 

Jeff also has explored the Trinity Site, in White Sands, New Mexico,where the first nuclear device was tested as advance work for the two bombs dropped on Japan in 1945, and in the process of that testing, exposed all of us to nuclear fallout. As a daughter of an engineer at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Hanford produced the plutonium that rode in the bomb called the Fat Man that was dropped over Nagasaki), I know a little about this—my sister died of leukemia and we met the Men-in-Black.

These are just two series; there is so much more. I encourage you to explore Jeff’s work. He shows us the stuff dreams are made of—the drive to succeed, and to make better. And at the same time, his photographs can speak of an existential loneliness, a feeling of co-existing inclusion and exclusion, of futility and beauty.

*”The Data Driven Society,” by Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Scientific American, October 2013, p. 80.

Coaling Tower PD low

Coaling Tower #9, Indiana, 2013, 10″ x 10″, archival pigment print from the series: The Coaling Towers
© Jeff Brouws

Croton-on-Hudson, New York, 1990, 18" x 18" archival pigment print from the series: Highway: America's Endless Dream © Jeff Brouws

Croton-on-Hudson, New York, 1990, 18″ x 18″
archival pigment print from the series:
Highway: America’s Endless Dream
© Jeff Brouws

Images copyright Jeff Brouws 2013. Please do not use, download, or screen capture without written permission.

Trinity PDlow

Trinity Site #1, location of first atomic bomb detonation Alamogordo, New Mexico, 1987, 20″ x 20″
archival pigment print from the series:
After Trinity: The Remnants and Realities
of America’s Nuclear Landscape
© Jeff Brouws

Advertisements

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s