Christopher Colville featured in Art In America
Since 2011, the Phoenix-based artist has been generating images through small, staged explosions, igniting gunpowder dusted over arrangements of metal, stone, and wood on photosensitive paper. Birthed by heat, light, and the force of the blasts, the works chronicle metamorphosis through their charred and pocked surfaces, and their palette of rust, ash, graphite, umber, and smoke. The images––made in the darkness of moonless nights and exposed (like the squid) by the materials' own spent energy––evoke earthen textures and atmospheric phenomena. Their cratered skins conjure the landscape of the Sonoran Desert without illustrating it, without using the camera's capacity to describe. Colville does, however, also work in a traditional manner, shooting film of enigmatic human interventions in the landscape. "I kind of want it all," he says of his desire to use photography to its full capacity. "I don't want there to be rules, but I want to break the rules."
–Leah Ollman, Art iIn America
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