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Pure Magic

It’s 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 Bonath’s favorites), are like off-the-chart still lifes. You never know what’s real and what isn’t, and eventually, you realize that it doesn’t matter. In fact, you might find yourself standing before one of his images, glued and slack-jawed, just trying to hear the story it’s 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.

“It’s 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: Don’t even try to figure out how he made these pictures (Bonath admittedly mostly uses Photoshop, but that’s 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.

Blurring the Edges continues through April 17; get details at or call 303-623-4059.
March 5-April 17, 2010


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