Cactus, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona
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© Edmund Teske Archives/Laurence Bump and Nils Vidstrand, 2001

Edmund Teske
American, Scottsdale, Arizona, negative 1943, print: 1960 - 1969
Duotone solarized gelatin silver print

13 5/16 x 9 13/16 in.

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In order to achieve results that he called "consistent with a finer feeling of emulsion as plastic pigment," Edmund Teske manipulated the photographic print in the darkroom, achieving the otherworldly effects seen here. The negative was made at Taliesin West, the Arizona studio of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, for whom Teske worked. The cholla cactus reverberates with energy. This effect was created by Teske's use of the solarization process, which causes each prickly thorn to appear electrified. Teske handled the medium of photography fluidly, experimenting with techniques that allowed him to transform an ordinary negative into an image imbued with mystical possibilities.