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Stuart Rome: PotGoat


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Stuart Rome
Pure pigment photographic print
11-1/2" x 11-1/2", framed 20-3/4" x 20-3/4"

About the Work
My photographs of California pot growers, the tribe of trimmer kids who work the harvest and the activists who run the dispensaries are a group at odds with government and yet are working as farmers cultivating plants that have been in demand since the beginning of culture; at odds with society but in demand by that same society. This is a sad commentary on our lack of honesty about who we are publicly and privately. Our lack of honesty has engendered as much pain and death as a 'war' and it has been waged against the poorest and most defenseless of our citizens. In 1982 Ronald Reagan spoke to his constituents of the difficulties of controlling the American counter culture and African Americans; soon after he gave his famous war on drugs speech which began a thirty year war that made a few Americans who built the new prisons rich and drug cartels even richer while the poor and predominately black population suffered. A new tipping point has been reached in public opinion; the war has been an abject failure. Whenever I think of all the lives cut short by this approach, I've felt a shame and anger that I have wanted to speak about in my own works.


Stuart Rome has worked as a photographer since the 1970's during which time he began exhibiting works in color - both landscapes and portraits, entitled, Modern Mythologies. His first solo exhibition was presented at the International Museum of Photography in 1978.

His interests in anthropology led to book projects photographing antiquities in Latin America and Asia as well as recording remnants of these expressions found in the rituals of trance. This documentary work led to landscape photographs of forests as a manifestation of pantheistic energy.

Patterning found in tribal art and textiles became the framework from which ideas about the natural world would emerge in his most recent published work, Drawn from Nature as well as ongoing Forest Pictures and the new series, "Oculus".

In 1985 Stuart Rome was hired to design and build a new Photography Program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he continues to teach until his retirement in 2019.

Stuart Rome has exhibited extensively over the years in solo and group exhibitions - in galleries and museums. Amongst his publications are: Maya, Treasures of an Ancient Civilization, Abrams, 1985; Forest, a monograph, Nazraeli Press, 2005; Signs and Wonders, The Southeast Museum of Photography, 2011. The John Simon Guggenheim fellowship was awarded in 2015 for his most recent work, "Oculus", photographs from within giant redwoods and sequoias.

Donated By the artist