Steve lives in Boulder, Colorado, an area in which natural beauty is easy to find every day, every season, from every direction. To walk in this natural beauty is an easy path. Photography can follow from that literal beauty.
But as a photographer, Steve also steps into what the landscape painter, Kathryn Mapes Turner, calls the “metaphorical fog”, to create images that help the viewer move beyond the literal into the mythic. The mythic? The vast interiors of the western landscape---mountains, towering pines, high deserts, canyons, flowing waters, the big sky---evoke all that he considers mythic: Our human, emotional, and psychological reaction to these natural elements, those places that, Steve suggests, can take us out of the literal tick-tick-tick of life, and leave us on our own to “contact” a wildness beyond our control.
Metaphorically, a re-wilding of the landscape that opens us up to the many beings we are, the many meanings we carry within ourselves. Too often, we expect photographs to stand alone as objective statements of the literal world, but Steve believes we sometimes want something more. His photography comes from within. It skirts the edges of self-portraiture---quite literally from the inside out; familiar images, perhaps, but carrying the recognition of personal meaning.
Steve O’Bryan invites viewers to their own re-wilding of the landscape. If there’s art, this is where it begins.