Richard Misrach
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Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery,
Pace/MacGill Gallery, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Photocredit: John E. Ramspott/BURNAWAY.ORG

(Above) Richard Misrach talks about his photograph, Venus and Missile Evasion Flares from Gu Oidak (Big Field), Tohono O'Odham (Papago) Indian Reservation, 3.19.96   8:29 P.M.----10:18 P.M., Arizona at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia on the occasion of the exhibition Revisiting the South: Richard Misrach's Cancer Alley. June 7, 2012.


As interesting and provocative as the cultural geography might be, the desert may serve as the backdrop for the problematic relationship between man and the environment. The human struggle, the successes and failures, the use and abuse, both noble and foolish, are readily apparent in the desert. Symbols and relationships seem to arise that stand for the human condition itself. It is a simple, if almost incomprehensible equation: the world is as terrible as it is beautiful, but when you look more closely, it is as beautiful as it is terrible. We must maintain constant vigilance, to protect the world from ourselves, and to embrace the world as it exists.

--Richard Misrach, Desert Cantos (University of New Mexico Press, 1987)