This work plays on optical illusion and the alteration of natural color. The work combines elements from two of my earlier series of photographs. One group of work explored subtle optical illusion by juxtaposing geometric fabric pieces selectively focused. In that work, colors and forms shifted and floated visually from background to foreground. Another group of earlier work addressed the psychological aspects of artificially colored food. In that work, I painted food to emphasize its visual message.
In this work, here, I have painted real plants with vivid colors. These are then photographed against large painted panels while suspending colored paper cutout shapes in front of each plant. An entire environment/plantscape is constructed to produce the photograph. The resulting images explode into color and spatial illusion.
This process can take many days to achieve one image. Once the plant color is worked out, the actual painting of each plant can take more than a day. Then a number of backgrounds are painted to provide a variety of results. The paper cutout pieces are then assembled and painted if necessary.
As photographs, the environment becomes of primary interest. The "plantscapes" exist only in the photograph. Thus the notion of the camera as recorder of reality is questioned. The viewer is forced to explore and wonder about the design of an artificial jungle.