Artist Statement Another Planet – Joshua Tree Interpreted, was born out of a series of “first” experiences. It is the accumulation of first impressions and first reflections I experienced during my first visit to Joshua Tree National Park. I’ve been in Southern California since 1999, yet it was not until 2010 that I found myself in the middle of this enigmatic place for the first time. Moments after I entered the Park at 29 Palms, I felt as if I crossed through a spiritual vortex, finding myself at a place that seemed so foreign yet so familiar, awe inspiring and embracing. It gravitated me so strongly that I had to pull over immediately. I got out of the car and started walking into the open desert. I had a strange urge to be as connected to the elements as I could be. I walked until my car seemed like a toy thing in the distance. I stopped. I began to feel the intensity of its calmness. I wanted to clear my mind of any thought that tied me to the life outside of this experience. I wanted to be immersed into its energy. Feelings of rebirth, insignificance, oneness, nothingness and universality flowed through my body. I knew I was in a special place -- surely, I set foot on another planet. For lack of a better term I would call this collection Contemplative Realism. I molded and composed some of the images from parts of others while I left some of them as they were. My goal was to recreate and relive the emotions of my first encounter through the images I brought home with me; a real place with mystic overtones. Applying this imaging technique to landscape photography is my attempt to bridge a world “out there” with a world “within.” Though, each piece is a complete entity in and of itself, together they represent the essence and sensibility of my first response to Joshua Tree.