Abstract Southwest - Photos by John Villinski
    home > gallery > black & white


Come take a journey with me into the world of oft-unnoticed details. While the southwestern United States is known for grand landscapes, stunning vistas and endless skies, I like to focus on the small intricacies of the desert. Whether it is the structure of a succulent or the patterns left by the harsh environment’s action on discarded human objects, I enjoy exploring the underlying architecture of the world around us.

Still Death

This title of this series of prints comes from a play on words. The old masters used to paint (or photograph) arranged items in their studios and called them still lifes. They often contained pieces of fruits and vegetables. All of the items in my series are found objects from my travels around the southwest. These pieces are all dead in one sense - the origianl plant or animal has died, and a bit of the underlying structure is revealed. But these images also focus on the cycle of life, as all of these objects become food for other organisms, being reborn in a different form.


When I first bought a camera and started taking photographs in 1984, I made my way to the red rock sandstone country of Sedona, AZ. I fell in love with the erosion patterns in the soft stone. Later I discovered that southern Utah was the mother of sandstone country, and I was hooked. Enjoy the bizarre shapes that I ahve found along the way.

The Underworld

Sometimes the negative looks so much more enticing than a print made from the negative. These negatives have this other worldly quality that draws me in for hours. Rocks and caves glow from within, and remind me of fantasy worlds, or worlds from early mythology. Journey with me to the underworld.


Of course the larger world in the southwest is equally as enthralling as the small and the bizarre. Here you will find much more classically composed landscape photographs.

   ©1991-2007 John Villinski. All rights reserved.

Site Meter