“Senescence” is the process of ageing or decay, the term for how vital cells and tissues deteriorate. Certain actions can prolong the life of a flower, but decay is inevitable.

I look for beauty in this process. The formal qualities of flowers in this state of decay attract me. It is the “studium,” to borrow a term from Roland Barthes, that allows me to focus on composition, structure, texture, and color palette. The secondary decision point, which occurs mostly while I am editing, is how these images function as memento mori, Barthes’ “punctum.” Memento Mori: remembering one’s mortality.

I trace the inspiration for this project to two photographers working a century apart. The cyanotypes of Anna Atkins – placing flora on sensitized paper, pressing it under a sheet of glass and exposing it to the sun--created a flattened but very accurate form of the flower or plant. It was evidence, a photographic process that captured without interpretation a dying plant. The white form of the plant against the Prussian Blue of the chemistry on paper created stunning silhouettes.

The second photographer is Irving Penn. His book, “Flowers,” published in 1980, was equally liberating. While Atkins’ work is monotoned and flattened, Penn’s is colorful and three-dimensional. His wilted flowers inspired me to look more closely at the ethereal beauty in their death.
These two disparate image makers created the dialectic I pursue in my work.

J Tomas Lopez
August 20, 2022

-POS JL 340 01$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 02$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 03$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 04$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 05$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 06$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 07$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 08$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 09$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 10$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 11$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 12$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 13$5,000.00
-POS JL 340 14$5,000.00

Xposure hosts solo exhibition spaces for acclaimed photographers along with group exhibitions for professional institutions. All exhibiting photographers will be present during the festival, enabling you the opportunity to meet and talk to them about their work.