environmental art

Shooting with a Five-Gallon Jug

Matthew Brandt pushes boundaries in his “Lakes and Reservoirs” large-scale photo series. The California artist shoots water landscapes across the American West, accompanied by a five gallon jug.  Back in the studio, he empties the water he’s collected into a large tray and bathes the C-print of each lake into that same lake’s water. These are some of the remarkable outcomes of a process that has brought him international attention.


(Top: American Lake, WA: C-print soaked in American Lake water  /   Above: Lewis Lake, Wyoming )

Brandt leaves the print in the bath from a few days to several months, producing a range of effects from blotted-out psychedelics to landscapes that remain relatively intact.  “There are sediments in some water that can cause a sparkle effect as the c-print starts to break up,” Brandt told Elle Decor. “I love when that happens.”

brandt-lakeselmacLake Selmac, Oregon

brandt-lovelandreservoirLoveland Reservoir, California

brandt-yubalakeYuba Lake, California

brandt-fallcreekFall Creek Lake, Oregon

brandt-bigbearBig Bear Lake, California

brandt-odellO’Dell Lake, Washington

brandt-MarysLake2Mary’s Lake 2, Montana

brandt-collage-From the isavirtue blog, here.

Matthew Brandt graduated from Cooper Union in New York in 2004, and then from UCLA in 2008, Brand has received critical acclaim in a relatively short period. His work is in the permanent collections at LACMA and the Armand Hammer Museum.

Brandt at M+B Gallery, Los Angeles

Brandt at Yossi Milo Gallery, New York

Brandt’s website, here.

Note: This post is from the art junkie archives (2013), and has been slightly updated to ensure gallery and artist links are working. Matthew Brandt has soared into prominence in the intervening years.  Just have a look at the exhibitions section of his website.

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