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Monday, June 15, 2015

Markings by Maxwell

Flying above the rest of us here at VSC is fellow resident Maxwell Mackenzie.
flying along the Gihon River

Maxwell Mackenzie at work play
A well-known architectural photographer from Washington DC, Maxwell is spending this month's residency photographing the land from a unique perspective, up in the tree tops, pushed by the air.
Where the typical artists brought paints, cameras, paper and easels, Maxwell brought his own little plane with him. I can't imagine how he got here, but it looks to me like his flying contraption packs up pretty small. It can't be larger than a go-cart. The rainbow colored parachute  is a wonderful sight when you catch him in the air. He sounds like a small lawnmower passing by.
Maxwell spends the good weather days high in the sky and the rainy ones in his studio, upstairs, putting together books and brochures. I've got one of his books. It's called Markings, and it features some spectacular rural vistas. The images are cropped in such a way so that they stand as unique design statements. They are some of the best abstractions I've seen in a while. There are no people, and only an occasional building or backhoe. The play of light and shadow defines the geometry of farmland and the textures he captures make the images intriguingly tactile. I want to slip underneath them as if they were wild tapestries, fuzzy quilts, or shaggy blankets. Some of the looping tractor paths make you wonder if the farmers who shaped the land below Maxwell's plane, were doing a dance of some sort. Since the images can only be seen from above, they are angel's vistas. The book is a real treasure, and perfect for anybody like me who insists on the window seat when flying.  Besides the couple double page spreads, each photograph in Markings  is paired with an interesting quote.
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