© José Picayo. Above: Magnolia kobus
José Picayo photographed these trees with his his 8” x 10” Deardorff camera, and his 8” x 10” Polaroid film at the Rutgers University Gardens, a 50-acre utopia of trees just off of U.S. Route 1 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The stately trees pulled him Picayo in, tempting him to explore, discover and create. Over six months, he spent much of his time just sitting in the gardens observing. One giant magnolia tree in particular drew him in, so grand and immense he describes it as “a big mushroom” when viewed from the outside. A single branch twisting upward, or a system of roots gnarled around one another became the focal point of José’s obsession.
“When you walk inside, under the lush canopy, it’s just branches coming out at you. What I loved were the two very different views: beautiful shapes and an intricate root system.”
Picayo’s images will be on display in a solo exhibition at the Robin Rice gallery. The show opens tonight and runs through October 28, 2012.
-courtesy of Robin Rice gallery