Fire and Ice by Alan Friedman and Douglas Levere
Fire & Ice is a collaborative exhibition by renowned astral photographer Alan Friedman and photomicrographer Douglas Levere. For this exhibition Friedman’s telescopic photographs of the Sun’s surface — which reveal its undulating, almost painterly topography — have been paired with Levere’s microscopic studies of snowflakes, exposing the hidden architecture of these tiny and delicate natural wonders.
While at first a seemingly obvious contrast, there is juxtaposition of vision that occurs through their respective practices — Friedman’s Suns become almost cellular and Levere’s snowflakes inherit the stature of skyscrapers. Both seemingly solid structures are, in actuality, held together by the most delicate balance of physical law. Through large-scale photographic prints, this massive astral body and these diminutive structures become equalized.
Friedman and Levere Note:
The volume of the earth could hold more than 50 octillion (50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) snow crystals. The sun could contain a million earths. Yet from our vantage point on Earth, they appear, as if by magic, the same size. A snowflake can be as large as the nail on your pinky. That same fingernail held at arms length is wide enough to completely cover the disk of the sun. Both are everyday subjects in our conversation yet hidden from sight – too small to see with the naked eye, too powerful to allow even the quickest glance.
Through the use of telephoto lenses to get closer and filters to temper brightness our photographs permit the viewer to experience what is invisible in day to day life. The details of our subjects are rendered with accuracy – color and composition are selected to better express structure and to impart emotion. Through our collaboration and the juxtaposition of scale and form we hope to illuminate some of the drama and poetry that is found in the natural world around us.