contemporary art experimental photography fine art Lynn Owens photo art USA



// Lynn was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and is now based in Scotsdale, Arizona. His work is an exquisite exploration of the colours of the desert landscape, using abstraction and impressionism as his means of communication. He is especially interested in the emotive qualities of colour.

“I have always been somewhat creative, first with music, then later with photography,” Lynn says. “I purchased a Cannon AE-1 and just photographed everything I could and read every book about photography that I could find.” He then got a chance to work at a newspaper when photographers from that paper were on his college campus covering an event. “I asked them how do I get into photojournalism. I was pursuing a degree in journalism, but the pictorial aspect of journalism was enthralling. As it turned out, the paper along with other publications were looking for interns and they were holding the event to review portfolios and resumes. I didn’t have a portfolio or a resume; I just promised them that if they gave me a chance, I wouldn’t disappoint them.” Lynn ended up shooting fashion, breaking news, features, and products. “Perhaps that experience informs my photography now,” he adds. “I am using color to tell a story and explore what that story means cross culturally.”

“The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.”

Jerzy Kosinski

What draws you to the arts?

“Producing art is freedom, and viewing art gives insight into history, and current events, and to some extent the mind of the artist. Art is a lens through which an individual can understand the world and his or her place in it. I am a visual person and photography is a natural fit, and besides I can’t draw a bit, so that kind of visual expression is out.”

What do you like best about your desert photo series?

“I lean more toward abstraction, so probably my abstract work is what I like best. I shoot a lot of photos there (in the Sonoran Desert). It is a hot, vast dense landscape replete with animals and vegetation. There is a lifetime of work here to explore and interpret.”

Lynn is curious why colour has different meaning for different cultures and subcultures, and how the meanings of colour can change from one generation to the next. Moreover, he is interested in how and why we emote when perceiving colour. For this series, he has captured the beautiful earth colours of the Sonoran Desert.

In terms of process, he tries to include as much detail as possible in his images, even as he abstracts the landscape. “I guess maximalism is the word I would use. Not as a push back on the minimalist aesthetic, but because of the environment I photograph.” By doing so he hopes the viewer returns repeatedly and discovers something new and perhaps reacts with different emotions; somewhat like listening to a favourite recording and hearing and feeling something new upon re-listening. “So in my case, less is not more, more is more,” he adds.

Click on the photos to see a larger image. Some images may be cropped for layout.


To see more of his photography visit Lynn´s Instagram page.