This photograph is part of the series On Planet Earth, in which Jan Staller photographed construction and industrial sites and created seductive images that are reminiscent of sculptures or earth art. Staller generally photographed these sites at dawn or dusk, and was able to produce photographs breathtakingly rich in color and intensity. The subject of this image is a water-purification plant, yet it takes on a magical form that resembles a sculpture or an elegant water fountain. In these works, Staller looks for the power and beauty of monumental sculpture that can sometimes be found in objects meant to perform some workaday function.
Jan Staller, considered an influential pioneer of night photography in color, moved to New York City in 1976. It was there that he made many of his signature mixed-light photographs that appeared in his monograph On Planet Earth, Travels in an Unfamiliar Land (Aperture, 1997). Over the last decade, he has had solo shows at Alan Klotz Gallery, New York; the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, Massachusetts; MinMin Gallery, Tokyo; and Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, and participated in group shows at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, and the Hecksher Museum, Huntington, New York.