Michael E. Gordon fell in love with the California desert as a young child. He recalls gazing meditatively at the austere landscape during long and quiet drives across the Mojave Desert which connected their home in Los Angeles to the snow- capped resorts of the Sierra Nevada. For many, these are boring, ugly, and endless miles. For an imaginative mind and spirit, this desolate void is filled with anthropomorphic Joshua trees and spiraling whirlwinds bearing desert spirits.
For more than two decades Gordon has obsessively explored, hiked, climbed, and photographed over our remarkable American deserts, seeking profound experiences, sage wisdom, and utter silence. He states, "It’s here where I am most balanced while in direct contact with earth, wind, and creative fire. I am enthralled by the charismatic and highly evolved life found here, possessed by prickly dynamic forms and radiant desert light. My images evoke the quiet stories of my subjects and titillate with the unspeakable essence of the vast Mojave, Great Basin, and Sonoran Deserts. These ancient landscapes provide thousands of square miles for my explorations, meditations, and creations."
The images in this exhibition were made with a 4x5" large format view camera and film and high resolution D-SLR. All prints are made with pigment inks on cotton rag and are finished exclusively with archival materials.
Michael E. Gordon is an award-winning fine art landscape photographer best known for his monochromatic impressions of the desert which, says Broughton Quarterly, portray “stunning ethereal beauty from terrain where others see only a bleak landscape.” A lifelong student of nature and
wilderness, Michael’s intimate relationship with the natural world results in quiet images of depth and discovery.
Michael's works are found internationally in the private collections of the United States Embassy, Kaiser Permanente; Milken Family Foundation; The Wilderness Society, and many others. His photographs have been published in and on the covers of magazines, calendars, brochures, annual reports,
textbooks, music CD’s, and newspapers, including Arte Fotográfico, Backpacker magazine; View Camera magazine; Rangefinder magazine; Broughton Quarterly; T-Mobile; USDA Forest Service; Brooks/Cole, and many more. Michael’s work has been awarded by the International Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie Paris, and Black & White Spider Awards.
His love for and commitment to the preservation of imperiled California landscapes is a cornerstone of his work. He has served on the Board of Directors for the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association and Mojave National Preserve Conservancy. His photographs have been instrumental in the campaigns of The Wilderness Society, Campaign for America’s Wilderness, Pew Charitable Trusts, National Parks Conservation Association and others, and have helped to shape wildfire management, renewable energy policies, and to advance Federal Wilderness and National Monument designation and expansion. In early 2015, Michael was a featured on-camera Death Valley expert in an NHK Japan full-length documentary film.
Michael owns and operates Death Valley Photo Tours, is co-founder of Visionary Photography Workshops, and leads workshops for The Los Angeles Center of Photography. He lives in Southern California with his wife Shauna.