James Hyde

Region: Northeast

I originally photographed the reservoir at Pyramid Lake in Nevada in the spring of 2009. It was attractive as a subject because it was so different from the landscape of the Northeast, where I have lived all my life.

As I became familiar working with photos of California, the landscape of Pyramid Lake came to seem less about difference than distance. Distance is the subject of these paintings.

In 2012, I traveled to Los Angeles and doubled back to rephotograph the same subjects. Appearances had changed even when the places were recognizable enough for me to find the same vantage of the lake or the same tree on a back road.

Looking at these large and detailed photographic prints, a visitor asked me why I painted on them. Without reflecting, I replied, “To make it real.” These photos are enormously descriptive—precise in location and the moment. Painting—the application of color, material, and shape on a surface—constructs a logic and brings the experience of works into the physical present.