Paint the Town with Floto + Warner

Photographers Jeremy Floto and Cassandra Warner have taken the phrase en plein air to another level, painting in the open air but also literally on it. Colourant, the pair’s series of images capturing paint flung into the barren landscapes of Northern Nevada and Iowa, speaks to the fluidity of painting — not only in its examination of how paint moves but also in the medium’s ability to mimic sculpture.

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“We call them floating sculptural events,” the pair told the WILD via email. “These are short-lived anomalies that pass you by at an imperceptible flash. A fleeting moment that blocks and obscures the landscape, a momentary graffiti of air and space…That is sort of what we love about photography, its ability to take the transitory and make it immortal.”

Using non-toxic, non-staining liquids composed of 95 percent water to remain conscious of the environment, Floto + Warner arrested each moment with a high shutter speed, keeping the resulting images as they were without using any editing software.

“There is meant to be a bit of magic here,” they said. “Something counter to our daily experience in the world.”

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Colourant continues the pair’s interest in sweeping scenery, explored in an earlier series from 2009 in which they filled natural settings as well as deserted rooms with colorful smoke to create similar effects.

The results in this latest series are mesmerizing, with the bold colors standing out against the minimal fields and deserts but somehow still feeling like natural elements quietly coloring the landscape. At times the liquids drift across plains like neon clouds; sometimes they seem to leap out of the ground like a long-necked, noble beast; others appear as living shapes, simply interacting with the landscape to highlight the topography and textures of their surroundings.

“Typically when people see them they react with a moment of joy, elation, or wonder,” Floto  and Warner wrote. “But some people definitely see a stain, a darker side.”

Cassandra’s WILD Wish: I’d time travel back in time to the land of flowers.

Jeremy’s WILD Wish: If it were me, I’d go forward.

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Photos courtesy the artists.


text by: Claire Voon










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