Josh Winegar was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received an MFA degree from Columbia College Chicago in 2007. His work has been exhibited in numerous cities across the US as well as internationally. Over the years he has been the grateful recipient of a fair amount of grants and awards. He current lives with his partner Peggy and their two children in a small cabin in the woods in Utah where he finds quiet time to work on his art. He is Associate Professor of Art and head of the photography program at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
‘Throughout its history, photography has played an important role in popularizing the ideas of the sublime landscape, Manifest Destiny, and the ‘land of opportunity.’ It is my intention with this series to explore those ideas within the genre while describing a more complex vision of the American landscape. I am interested in our complicated and often uneasy relationship with “nature”– our presence in it, dominance over it, reverence for it, and our need to control it.
This work is shot on film with a large format camera and all manipulations are done in camera. Like many photographers before me, I focus my lens on the serene and picturesque, but unlike most of them I am not interested in reinforcing the myth of the untouched land. I don’t adjust my frame to exclude man or the man-made but instead its presence is recorded to film and later removed by the same means with which it was recorded, light. This is achieved through a series of multiple exposures– one of the scene, and a subsequent exposure shot in the studio for each burst of light. It is my hope that the resulting images appear simultaneously familiar/foreign, celebratory/critical. By replacing the evidence of man with bursts of light it is my hope that these specific places are transformed into more open-ended spaces that leave room for one to contemplate our relationship with the world we live in and question the classic notions of landscape photography.’ – Josh Winegar