Studio 29 - Andrew Johnson

Category / Medium:  Photography

Favorite nearby restaurant:  Pranzo

The Saguaro cactus is one of the most iconic symbols of the Southwest, but is often just that: a symbol. 
Saguaro imagery quite often feels monumental yet disconnected. 
After spending time amongst them in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, I wanted to create images that felt more intimate and graphic. 
By focusing on the details of individual Saguaros, I started to feel like I was glimpsing into their perceived personalities and ages. 
They survive periods of extreme heat and drought for hundreds of years, storing and dispersing water as needed. This expansion and contraction shows in their skin and spines as they age. 
Their forms and patterns started to appear like fingerprints, yet quickly abstracted into topography and texture. 
This duality is an important part of their survival: they are sharp and soft at the same time, both masculine and feminine, timeless and cyclical. 
Celebrating their unique profiles through photography yields a modern approach and appreciation: the Saguaros remain iconic but become known.