Cody Cobb is a contemporary artist whose photographic work transports the viewer to both extraordinary and ordinary natural spaces and seems to touch on two important themes in landscape: the intimate beauty of sacral almost secret places hidden in the quickly disappearing wilderness…..the beauty of aloneness quietly glittering within, and secondly, the sublime, the grandiose extravagant splendor of mountains, valleys, harsh landscapes and rolling hills.
Undoubtedly, these themes are important to the history of American art, particularly when it comes to our national imagination and mythology of the west. And yet here, all of this finds itself delightfully rendered and rethought in Cobb’s work.
In many ways photography has become for the artist, an escape from analytical approach, and he notes that when he intends to photograph a certain place or thing, there is always some sort of deviation so it seems best to leave the process unplanned, the finding of the place coming in a more fluid way. “Solitude is a hugely important part of my process, though. Walking in silence for days at a time becomes a meditation and I find myself in a state of pure observation. Most of my photos come out of this state of mind, allowing me to stumble upon these mysterious scenes rather than intentionally seeking them out.”
The artist’s work as well expresses an abiding interest in conservation, the untrammeled vistas revealing the enduring and often endangered worlds of remote natural landscape and wonders.
Cobb has had a successful career in motion design, but is a self-taught photographer although he has been using a camera since his teens, wandering about abandoned buildings and the pine forest of northwest Louisiana. His first encounter with the wilderness was the Olympic Peninsula, and this place remains a treasured sites, beloved for its “rugged coastlines, glaciers and rainforests all contained within 1400 square miles.”
Almost surreal rich color is offset by the wondrous forms of rock and sky in some pictures whereas still others show a monochromatic elegance that seems full of mist, light and texture. Poised between ether and form, Cobb’s elegant presentation of the grandeur of the natural beauty of this world leaves one full of wonder.
And so we leave you with the artist’s words on his own practice…. “Meditations on the illusion of form in nature. Emotional portraits of rocks and trees. Subtleties of enormity.”