Navajo Nation is the United States’ largest Native American territory, and it is also one of the most violent. For the people living on the reservation, the artwork of Dr. Chip Thomas serves as a reminder of the beauty and fortitude that remains at the core of the community. Photographer Tom Fowlks captures the artist and practicing physician, who has served the Navajo population for over 26 years, as he perches upon one of his installations in the Painted Desert of Arizona: a blown up back and white photograph of a woman’s laughing face pasted on the surface of one of the reservation’s many abandoned buildings.
Quiet now, don’t disturb the herd of…cheese puffs? Photographer Jason DeMarte throws us for a loop with his series Nature Preserve, an exploratory mash-up of the natural world and the consumer environment of contemporary society. The series is made up of digital composites combining images of fabricated and artificial flora and fauna with commercially produced and processed products—hence the Cheetos, sugary donuts, and flowery bouquet action here. His representation of nature with bizarre, unnatural elements “speaks metaphorically and symbolically of our mental separation from what is ‘real’ and compares this with the consumer world we surround ourselves with as a consequence. Ultimately this work is an investigation into the manipulation of truth,” DeMarte says.