Australian Pines Fort De Soto, Florida1977 by John Pfahl

John Pfahl has been making beautiful and often uncanny photographs of evidence of the human hand in the natural world since the 70's.

Altered Landscapes (1979) is Pfahl`s earliest and probably best-known series. In it the photographer takes rather ordinary landscapes and imposes his own handiwork upon them, in the form of colored string and tape, rope, foil and other man-made materials.

Pfahl has been quoted as saying that 'pure and natural landscapes don't interest me at all'. In the 'Altered Landscapes' series the human interventions, such as the tree-trunks painted to match the color of the horizon, apparently cutting the tree trunks in two, transform one's perception of the image. What would be a simple landscape becomes an ambiguous, layered construct, where it is difficult to identify what is 'natural' and that is a human construct. Like Picasso's Cubist portrait, foreground and background collide to form new spatial relationships.
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