THOMAS F. AGRAN
BurialSpring RainsStrip CroppingStrip Cropping IIGreat BendDodge City Chalk-outStoverSpringtime Scenic OverlookNorth of Fort DodgeKansas TidalOutside the WireBarton County BonheurSouth of Iowa City IIIowa Washout IIGhost CowSpring Turning I (after Wood)Spring Turning II (after Wood)Southwest IowaCal-DairyIowa Washout I
landscape
“How we represent the land to ourselves affects the ways in which we value and act upon it.”
- James Corner

Torn landscapes and built landscapes interest me. Midwestern agriculture is viewed, divergently, as either seductively bucolic or disturbingly industrial. In either case, farming in this part of the country embodies ponderous externalities of cost. In some instances, these environmental, political, and social land-use ramifications are difficult to see. In other instances, they become difficult to ignore.

Through desaturation, aggressive handling, ripping, tearing, scratching, scraping, and so on, I try to illustrate the industrialized landscape using similar processes to how it is created. It is a landscape that is, in its purest essence, brutally elegant.

Knowing the darker side of the bucolic and appreciating the aesthetic side of the industrial creates paradigms for finding the landscape’s hidden burdens and unexpected attractions. I am attempting to come to terms with a vast and alternatingly violent and beautiful landscape – one I am visually attracted to, philosophically opposed to, and entirely surrounded by.

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