Richard Mosse is a photographer whose technique and style merges photojournalism with creative expression to capture the beauty and tragedy of war and destruction around the world. His complex and charged subject matter has included refugee camps, war-torn countries, abandoned plane wrecks in the farthest reaches of the planet and the former palaces of Uday and Saddam Hussein.
In his latest body of work, Mosse has turned his focus towards the Amazon, a forest so vital to our environment which is quickly becoming decimated. As is typical of his practice, the images in this latest series blur the line between photojournalism, documentary photography, and contemporary art. One element of new project, whose accompanying film Broken Spectre will debut at 180 Strand in London and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne this month, is the series Ultra which lends a micro view of the fragile environment of the Amazonian rainforest. The resulting images, taken under ultraviolet light, have been composited to create large-scale hyper-detailed ethereal landscapes. The natural world takes on an unfamiliar, almost alien, aspect due to the fluorescence of UV light in the visible spectrum. Textured plant life take on a glowing yet bejeweled quality, and the camouflaged patterns of insects meanwhile are amplified by the light, the cross-hatching in their eyes and wings depicted with lucid clarity.
Mosse been exhibited extensively globally, and recent solo exhibitions have been hosted at the Fondazione MAST, Bologna; National Gallery of Art, Washington; SFMOMA, San Francisco; the Varmlands Museum, Karlstad; and the Barbican Centre, London. His work is part of many public collections, including The Tate, London; The National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The National Gallery of Art, Washington; and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Mosse’s first monograph, Infra, was published by Aperture Foundation and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in 2011. His most recent monograph, Broken Spectre, documents Mosse’s work in the Amazon over the past four years.