Frames Within Frames

Dark and Light on Alcatraz Island

Intense sunlight outside contrasts with deep, cold darkness inside to form abstractions on the walls of the abandoned prison on Alcatraz Island. The interplay of shadow and brightness reveals uncanny details. Seen through layers of windows and bars, the remarkable beauty of the San Francisco Bay is decontextualized and distorted by the crumbling structures. The distance is obscured and the near view is inscrutable.

The urban photos of Andreas Feininger were one of my earliest influences. His graphic portrayals of architecture contain intricate detail and strong composition. Within the decaying buildings of Alcatraz, I found not only the geometry that Feininger saw in New York skyscrapers, but also the natural quality accumulated by old structures everywhere.


Edition 20. Size available: 17 x 22 inches (43 x 56 cm). Other sizes within the edition made to order. 100% cotton paper. 2006 and 2012.

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