Sylvia Sukop [nonfiction artist]
Oil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and WaterOil and Water
Oil and Water
California gas stations have an iconic history in art. See Ed Ruscha and Stephen Shore, among others.

In our unusually wet winter of early 2011, I became obsessed with photographing Los Angeles gas stations in the rain. I love how rain warps and splatters the light, transforming the streetscape; how the windshield wiper becomes a paintbrush spreading viscous pigment; and how the images hover between realism and abstraction, raindrops forming a veil between the two.

The series was photographed entirely on my cell phone, with finished prints enlarged to 34” x 44”. None of the images has been Photoshopped or otherwise manipulated after the picture was taken; solarization effects were done in-camera, on location, at the moment of shooting, maintaining the immediacy of documentary photography.

Brightly illuminated fossil fuel stations, photographed through a car window in record precipitation—global warming come full circle?


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