La fotografia dark di Max Cooper

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Il buio come protagonista assoluto dell’arte. L’americano Max Cooper ci propone una serie di scatti in bianco e nero realizzati durante le ore notturne, dove le luci d’ambiente trasformano costruzioni e paesaggi fornendo loro un significato nuovo.

“These images are about darkness. In each photograph, I have done my best to create a scene in which the subject is elusive and the landscape is empty. Most of the pictures here were taken between midnight and four in the morning, when traffic is light and the sky is at its blackest.

I am fascinated by the monumental aspects of the places I find in the dark. The colossal cross illuminated over I-26 is not unlike a solitary road sign in its bold and simple declaration. Like the circumscribed A on a building’s back wall, these symbols are meant to communicate complex ideas on a basic level. In these photographs, however, no one receives the message.

For me, as I stand on the roadside with the shutter open, the aborted communication of these monuments contains a haunting ambiguity: Are these signs shrouded by the emptiness and darkness around them, or is their strength made more apparent because they stand in spite of the darkness? I don’t know.

But I do know that the human need to illuminate things is as unstoppable as a freight train. With this body of work, I seek to document the evidence of that urge, focusing on places that are unpopulated, where the contrast between light and dark is highest, where things are illuminated only because no one is there to turn out the light.”

(Max Cooper)

Max Cooper has lived in western North Carolina since age ten.  Taught the art of photography by his father, a Presbyterian minister, his work centers on the region’s deep faith, strong rural roots, and increasingly developed industrial topography.

Working his way through college as a reporter and freelance photographer, Cooper received a BA in Art, with a concentration in photography, from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  His Dark Topography series was first exhibited at the Wedge Gallery in Asheville’s River Arts District, and earned a 2008 Merit Award from Black & White magazine.

Started simply to promote his own work, Cooper’s award-winning photography blog, A Dark Topography, has garnered much attention with its high-profile interviews of National Geographic photographers and satirical art analysis.  In 2009, it won BlogAsheville’s award for Best Writing.

Cooper exhibits in area galleries and teaches photography part time at local community colleges.  He lives in Asheville with his wife, Jessica.

Website: www.darktopography.com

For the images: © Max Cooper. Published under fair use principle.

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