Gallery 169 is pleased to host the work of Los Angeles-based photographer Chris Burkard.
Chris Burkard's pulled-back images of wave riders in settings not typically associated with surfing-from the Russian Far East to India and Norway-are stunning land-and-seascapes as much as they are documents of athletic accomplishment.
"Dispatches" focuses on two specific locations: Iceland and Tahiti. The first is precisely the kind of setting that Chris Burkard is best known for documenting; and, while Tahiti may seem the paradigmatic surf destination, the artist has defamiliarized it nonetheless by photographing bodysurfers unencumbered by boards of any kind and pictured mostly from underwater.
Burkard says, "I have always paid special attention to cold places as they give me a sense of awakening. They may seem like photographic purgatory, but I'm happy to endure them because of what can be revealed to you in the process of enduring. The Arctic is unrelenting and the weather is ferocious, but through all that there is the stark beauty of the barren landscape."
Of the Tahiti images, he notes, "Bodysurfing in the South Pacific feels like a return to something primal, basic, pure. But also humbling."
Chris Burkard's dispatches arrive from untrammeled distant shores. But they also remind us of what we already know and never left behind.