About this artwork
For over thirty years, Richard Misrach has photographed the natural landscape and man’s effect on it. With an eye attuned to color and a belief in the power of aesthetics to effect change, he has made lush, beautiful photographs of often terrible subjects. He is perhaps best known for his Desert Cantos, an extensive and ongoing series exploring the splendors and horrors of the American desert—man-made floods and fires, military-scarred terrain, pits of dead animals, and sublime night skies. Like an epic poem, the series is divided into cantos, now numbering twenty-eight. Canto III, “The Flood,” focuses on the Salton Sea, a lake that was created by an engineering mistake at the beginning of the twentieth century. The lake was stocked with fish in the 1950s to promote tourism but became permanently flooded a few decades later, leaving odd and often ironic reminders of human folly poking out of the water; the fish (seen at the bottom right of the picture) experience summer die-off due to the warming of the salty water and choking algae blooms. With biblical overtones of the apocalypse, Misrach here expanded the landscape tradition from a depiction of the picturesque to an expression of political engagement.
- Currently Off View
- Photography and Media
- Richard Misrach
- Dead Fish, Salton Sea, from the series "Desert Cantos III: The Flood"
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- Made 1983
- Chromogenic print from digital file, edition 19/25
- Image: 46.1 × 59.9 cm (18 3/16 × 23 5/8 in.); 50.7 × 60.9 cm (20 × 24 in.); Paper: 50.8 × 61 cm (20 × 24 in.)
- Photography Gala Endowment
- © Richard Misrach