Duncan Miller Gallery has created a new pop up space in Santa Monica called Duncan Miller Projects. I was asked to write the press release for their first show.
Robert Buelteman and Daniel Wheeler
“Department of Water and Power”
A Dialogue of Nature as Transmitted Through Unexpected Elements
Duncan Miller: Projects is pleased to announce the opening of a unique 300 square foot pop up gallery space in Santa Monica, California. The inaugural exhibition aptly titled “Water and Power” speaks not only to the works of California based photographers Robert Buelteman and Daniel Wheeler, but also to California’s dependence on these utilities. Deviating from traditional landscape photography and snapshots that document a changing environ, Buelteman and Wheeler have developed respective methods that infuse water or electricity into their practice and process.
Daniel Wheeler’s ongoing photographic series G.U.L.P which is an abbreviation for Generative Urban Landscape Project, traces the artist’s journey as he photographs Southern California under water in residential swimming pools. Each photograph represents a single breath that Wheeler takes as he plunges into the water, and thus the exhalation causes a distortion of the image. While the large-scale color photographs are taken from the artist’s point of view, they are not manipulated. The perspective of the artist and viewer become one as many of us have likely experienced a similar vision while sinking to the bottom of a swimming pool. G.U.L.P. celebrates a shared experience of looking at the world through a distorted lens.
Celebrated for his black and white landscape photography Robert Buelteman recently decided to change the course of his creative practice, and analyze nature without his camera. Searching his backyard in Montara, California with an 8 ½ x 11 frame in hand, Buelteman literally frames wild flora until he comes across a piece of nature that beckons to be electrified. Spending painstaking months developing his process, Buelteman has positions a plant on photo paper, hooks it up to an electrical charge and blasts with 40,000 volts of wattage. The result of the shock causes the plant to become ionized and gives UV light in the form of energy. Beulteman’s approach seems a response to Whitman’s “body electric” as flowers and plant life are transformed into artifacts of complete wonderment and other-worldliness.
Robert Buelteman received a degree in Fine Arts at San Francisco State University and at the University of California Berkeley Extension. He currently resides in Montara, California. Daniel Wheeler received his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Brown University. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.