Polish photographer Maciek Jasik uses sprays of limitless color to deflect from the reality of an image and express a more emotive interpretation of the scene before us. In his ongoing series The Cycle, each photograph is drenched in fluid punches of neon and crimson to highlight the loneliness and pain of young people roaming the desert in an act of self-abandon. Describing the tragedy of losing both brother and mother at a young age, Jasik explores the infinite landscape with his camera in a confusion that is both searching and devouring. Color permeates every image like heat rising from the rocky ground, the figures disappearing into a desolate horizon unknown.
“I see these photos as a part of the family album that at one point I’d like to put back into the album, so that 100 years from now someone can look at it and say, ‘Jeez, that guy was working through some issues.” This was Richmond-based photographer Paul Thulin’s response when I asked him about the role of his family in the hypnotic series Pine Tree Ballads. I’d have to agree that these mysterious photographs would raise some eyebrows amidst the normal snapshot and portrait fare of an album. They are photographs of a family that reveal nothing about the individuals—many of the images do not include people at all, but rather a foreboding abandoned homestead in the woods. And when people are shown, they haunt the frame, peering out from its edges like feral animals caught in the light.