Who hasn’t heard a tale or two of the weird and wonderful goings-on at Burning Man? You know – that annual art-fest in the Nevada desert where every size and shape of human comes to create extraordinary art as well as community. Who are these participants, or 'Burners', as they're called?
Photographer Nicholas King shows us in his portraits of poignant intimacy. Stripped of the trappings of the event itself, King’s work is focused on people rather than the spectacle of Burning Man. To be sure, there are still the outrageous costumes, but these portraits, now in a recently released book, Burners (Laughing Coyote Press, 2017), reveal the incredible diversity of the Burner community, its ordinary and, at the same time, extraordinary folk.
One look at his work and you know immediately that King is all about the human connection. First, he aims to connect the viewer to nothing less than the soul of his subject. But unlike most expressions of soul in Western culture, King doesn’t see it as one-dimensional. Instead, he teases out different expressions of soul, drawing the viewer into his collaborative relationship with the person photographed.
“A good portrait,” says King, “results in a revealing exchange of information, a stimulation of emotion or thought between the person photographed and the viewer. In the belief that photographs hold clues to what lies beneath the surface, King strives—and succeeds—in revealing the light within his collaborators.
In addition to the portraits taken from his new book, a set of recent Burning Man images will also be on display, all done with a wild, painterly color pallet that uses the reality associated with photography as a point of departure for transcending that reality.
Opening reception and book signing will take place on Friday, March 2nd from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Show runs through the end of March. View more work by Nicholas King at www.nicholaskingphotography.com