Jonathon Wells Talk

31 March 2016

This Monday, April 4, 2016 at 4:30 PM, photographer and geologist Jonathon Wells will be giving a talk in Mudd 73 about how he blends aesthetic and science in his unique photo geologic-composite art prints. His talk is free and open to the public.

Trained as both a fine art photographer and as a geologist, Jonathon Wells has created scientifically accurate photo-geologic composites since 2002. Wells explores the interplay between geologic foundation and man-made environments at a specific site by offering a simultaneous subsurface and surface image for each location.

The production of each art print is a time-intensive process that is simultaneously artistic and investigatory. First, he searches for both landscapes and geologic frameworks that intrigue him. He might spend days documenting a single city block. To visualize the substrata, Wells will turn to old and new geologic surveys and maps, to utility maps and geologic field guides. He’ll pull off roadways to photograph rock exposures, follow road workers and underground cable repairs with his camera, waiting for an exposed opening—a “window”—that will allow him to capture a glimpse of what lies below us. Finally, he creates the photo-geologic composite digitally, combining a documented landscape with the substrata below. His work considers both urban and rural sites, as well as natural spaces he studied as a geologist. These sites may be a New York City block, a gas station, or a water well on a hill.

No matter the site, all works illustrate the intersection between the physical marks of man as humanity and technology progresses and the original, longstanding physical composition of the earth itself. Wells offers viewers the chance to step back and contemplate the greater context of landscape and humans’ relationship to Natural Earth.

Posted In