Bill Jackson is the one of the few artists who was also a regular source for me when I was a news reporter back in the day, covering county government for the San Mateo Times. He was the county’s elections manager then and is a fine-art photographer now. When I jumped ship for the arts editor’s desk, he got in touch again.
Instead of chatting about precinct results, we’ve talked about his pleasantly eerie photography, which has been seen quite a bit around town in recent years. Jackson is a member of the Palo Alto Camera Club and is represented by the Paolo Mejia Gallery in the city.
At the moment, he also has a solo show up at Philz Coffee in Palo Alto’s Midtown neighborhood. Jackson usually likes to photograph people; here he’s found inspiration in the rings and cracks of fallen trees.
His “Timber” series came from “cut and fallen trees from California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, modified in post-processing to create something different from the original,” as he puts it. The series is a blaze of color: atomic reds, deep blues, powerful oranges. I like to imagine some logger knocking down a tree and jumping back appalled, seeing all this wonder inside.
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