Its difficult to describe the digital photography of John Bonath; you have to see it and get lost in its marvelous prestidigitations and full-frontal vignettes for yourself. His works, which veer off in intertwining themes (stripes, mud, insects, wood and botanical studies, to name a few of Bonaths favorites), are like off-the-chart still lifes. You never know whats real and what isnt, and eventually, you realize that it doesnt matter. In fact, you might find yourself standing before one of his images, glued and slack-jawed, just trying to hear the story its telling. The opportunity to do so will be ripe when the retrospective Blurring the Edges: John Bonath 1996-2010 opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 11 p.m. at Camera Obscura Gallery, 1309 Bannock Street.
Its a really thorough kind of show, with a lot to respond to and to look at, Bonath says of the exhibit, which is organized by motifs rather than chronology or a particular series. I guarantee that you will not walk out in same state of mind as when you walked in. And although some people think of his work as being surreal, Bonath likens it more to magic realism. And how: Dont even try to figure out how he made these pictures (Bonath admittedly mostly uses Photoshop, but thats almost incidental). I think of the computer as my stage where I can perform my idea, he notes. The rest is an intuitional process between the artist and the technology.