Cole Barash – Sound of Dawn

This collection of photographs consists of a visual investigation into the intimate exchange between the human form and the natural landscape. Looking to identify the points in which both forms meet and co-exist as well as the manner in which they inevitably alter and destroy one another. Juxtaposing magnified detailed studies of the human body in its natural state with photographs of the Rio Tinto river in Spain, known for its deep red hues caused by the acid mine drainage from the various mines in the region. The quarries exposing the deep layers of earth’s flesh, the tools and steel cables used to create and maintain these lacerations. The limestone opaque forests generated from the dirt and dust blowing into the nearby woods. I use the viewfinder to build compositions and sketches of these moments of interception, further questioning our interconnectivity as forms.

The duotone images strip away any distractions and allow the focus to remain on the genuine form and structure. Initially, I use photography as a medium to make observations through a 4:5 ratio. Later in the studio, I experiment with scale and sequencing in either the format of an installation or book to further convey the overall idea(s). Bringing in additional layers and working with yarn to stitch into the inkjet prints, manifesting my own form. I am guided by the topographical compositions gathered of the Rio Tinto River from Google Earth. Having spent a large portion of my upbringing and current life in very isolated natural environments, nature as a form, presence, and phenomena of the physical world will collectively continue to contribute to my work and practice.

Cole Barash (b. 1987) is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. His photographic work has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, W Magazine, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Time Lightbox, Rolling Stone, and Vogue, among others. In 2019, his book Stiya was published by Deadbeat Club Press and shown as a solo exhibition in Tokyo, Japan at Commune Gallery. Stiya has been reviewed by The New Yorker, Aint-Bad Magazine, Collector Daily, and The Heavy Collective. In 2017, his book Smokejumpers was shortlisted for the Anamorphosis Prize becoming part of the Franklin Furnace Archive as well as the collection at the MoMA Library. In 2015, his book Grimséy was published by The Silas Finch Foundation and subsequently recognized by TIME as one of the top photobooks of the year. Images from Grimséy were later displayed as a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Iceland in 2017.