Horizon Icons by Chris Shaw

Adad Books, London


24×30.5cm, 80 pages


Chris Shaw captured a dark and spectacular vision of the Californian desert during the summer of 2013 while on a residency in Joshua Tree National Park. He took pictures in the early morning using a strong flash and printed at night in a make-shift darkroom in his bathroom, using an enlarger specially shipped from New York. In this bold and striking series of photographs, the joshua trees and various desert cacti are transformed into haunting anthropomorphic figures and dancing icons. The prints themselves bear the marks of the ad-hoc printing process, with bleeding edges, fingerprints, off-kilter frames and Shaw's signature hand-written titles.


Shaw’s rough and raw aesthetic is produced both by the manner in which the pictures are taken, and by editing and printing processes: using darkroom techniques to magnifies the effects of light, both intentionally and accidentally; and by writing directly on the prints with thick black pens.