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In 2010, I had the priv­i­lege of spend­ing time in Col­orado with a good friend of mine that is also a bril­liant pho­tog­ra­ph­er. I know no one else that stops the car as fre­quent­ly to cap­ture a moment. It is quite an expe­ri­ence to trav­el with some­one that knows an area in great detail and pro­fi­cien­cy. See­ing as Col­orado was our play­ground, we spent one day pho­tograph­ing in the Rocky Moun­tains and the next in a 95 degree sub­ur­ban garage pho­tograph­ing weeds. As we backed out of the dri­ve­way on the sec­ond day we were on our way to explore amaz­ing vis­tas, I noticed an odd weed that I had nev­er seen before. These strange plants tied them­selves in knots and cre­at­ed quirky spi­rals. I was com­plete­ly fas­ci­nat­ed, and, to my sur­prise, I had found one part of Col­orado that my host had nev­er explored that was 5 feet from his front door. 

After vis­it­ing a local hob­by shop for sup­plies, we man­aged to put togeth­er a sim­ple light­ing set­up while cov­er­ing the garage refrig­er­a­tor in black fab­ric. Between the 95 degree heat and plants that had been yanked out of their nat­ur­al habi­tat, we had to work quick­ly in order for them not to wilt. My enthu­si­asm for these plants and tol­er­ance for heat was not shared equal­ly, and at some point I found myself ignor­ing my good friend and host to spend the rest of the after­noon exam­in­ing these strange specimens. 

Nat­u­ral­ly, after spend­ing a fair length of time star­ing at weeds, I want­ed to know what they were. On the ride to the air­port, we spec­u­lat­ed, and I had a con­ver­sa­tion with my phone while rid­ing in the pas­sen­ger seat. I found no answers, suc­cumbed to my guilt, and actu­al­ly had a con­ver­sa­tion with a human. On the plane, I noticed that the bulb on these plants looked con­spic­u­ous­ly like a bal­let slip­per. It was my wife who noticed the range of dance pos­es while I was focused on only one image. This col­lec­tion rep­re­sents a great deal to me, but above all it reminds me of how many beau­ti­ful things that I miss while I’m look­ing for beau­ti­ful things. In look­ing at the images, a view­er might expect to hear a more grandiose sto­ry of how these images came to be. In real­i­ty, the images were always there, we just had to stop the car. 

As for the weeds, it turns out that many of my friends have wild gar­lic grow­ing in their gar­dens, and it can be found in a major­i­ty of states in the U.S. So much for find­ing a brave new world.

error: Copyright Michael Barton Art