Photographs by Stuart Rome.
Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2005. 52 pp., 36 duotone illustrations, 13x13".
Stuart Rome's clear-eyed meditations on the chaos of
forest flora provide Nazraeli Press with excellent material
for another of their characteristically appealing volumes.
From its gratifyingly large plates to its silky green
binding cloth, Forest exemplifies Nazraeli's commitment
to the tactile pleasures of reading photo books. It is the images, though, that carry the weight and justify our
attention. Significantly, Rome has not captioned the
plates in his book. This is not description of specific forest
environments, but evocation of the spirits that loom
and linger amidst all arboreal
are densely packed, with a
quicksilver blend of fine
gestural calligraphy, deep
spaces of nearly impenetrable
shadow, and dramatic
splashes of sunlight
penetrating the canopy
and catching vines and leaves in a mesmerizing grisaille
fashion. These are images to get lost in, and we can be
grateful to Rome for having made the journeys through
what often seems like impenetrable greenery; it is, sometimes,
extremely difficult to imagine where his feet were
when he made an image, as his vantage point seems
impossibly elevated. Studying Rome's forests is an exercise
in letting go; the circuits your vision takes into,
around, and through his photographs are better and
more rewarding the less they are forced. Don't hurry, as
you may miss something amazing (or trip on a vine). GEORGE SLADE
Read Publisher's Description.