Using her camera like a microscope, Patricia Yontz invites us to explore fascinating and unfamiliar worlds that exists close at hand but are rarely seen.
Yontz’s photographs magnify the commonplace, tiny, insignificant particles that typically end up in the dust pan. Her close-up photographs describe extraordinary microcosmos literally under our fingertips, rich in metaphor, personality, emotion, and strange beauty.
In the photograph “Static” 2014 Yontz uses a technique of selectively focusing on parts of her subject and allowing other parts to blur. This playful study in distortion raises questions about the scale of the subjects. Is the slightly fuzzy creature the size of a fly, a shoe or a whale? Is the conglomeration of burnt orange, yellow-gold and blue-gray detritus a bed of seaweed, autumn leaves, or a crowd of mourners at a funeral?
Were it not for the title, “Tea and Rice” 2014 the image might suggest insect eggs or rock crystals. In a scene as visionary as Alladin’s cave, Yontz shows us rice grains as shimmering oblong forms clustered in a gray-brown nest of tealeaves.
In “Band of Tea” 2014, two animated creatures resembling tiny lizards or dragons converse with each other from a narrow band of plant-like forms floating in a limpid emptiness. Are we viewing the dawn of time and the awakening of life in the primordial sea, or are these dried tea leaves on a table top?
Patricia Yontz creates her photographs using a Nikon D.90 camera. The color photograph measures 16 X 20 to 20 X24 and made as an limited edition of 3.
Liz Kay/Photography Critic/Writer/Santa Fe.New Mexico
Upon first viewing Patricia Yontz’s photographs I was immediately struck by the subdued color and keen eye for depicting fine line with subtle variation in tonal value. The simplicity and stark presentation bring to mind Zen images which express a beautiful melancholy, a pristine loneliness which invites deep contemplation. These photos also impress me as being quite personal in nature, while simultaneously possessing a universal appeal. The textures I discover in common, everyday objects – hair, string, tea bags, dry fruit, dead insects – take on an other- worldly aspect that the viewer would not normally associate with such objects. I find myself drawn in to this curious, hidden world of the microscopic and find it as fascinating and new as I would watching some far off galaxy in a powerful telescope.
In a world where we are bombarded by in-your-face, blatantly imposing imagery, I find solace in knowing we can look into Patricia Yontz’s micro-universe of pure color and line so easily accessed in her photography.