Mudbog makes a Splash!

One of the great things about art is that it is everywhere, integrated into the fabric of existence like the molecular bonds that hold the world together.  And like precious minerals bound up in the matrix of the earth, art can be mined, processed, and refined by those talented enough to recognize it.  Poignant imagery can be found in the splendor of nature, the complexities of human experience, or in this case, in the mud!  Mudbog is the latest project of documentary photographer Terrance Reimer.  For Mudbog, Terrance chose to turn his attention to the Oakhurst Mudbog 2000, an annual event organized by the Wicked Wheelers of Oakhurst, benefiting the Mountain Laurel House.

The work presented in Mudbog consists of vividly colorful photographic images captured during the event. The photos focus on a few different themes, which ultimately tell a story that captures the essence of the Mudbog.  Many of the images focus on the spontaneous, fast paced excitement of the race.  Roaring trucks churn heavily through the mud, spattering clumps of gooey brown earth into the air.  Mud spattered participants gesturing wildly, caught up in the thrill of the moment, and fascinated  spectators look on with expressions of awe and exhilaration.  Other images focus on the intense juxtaposition of color between the earthy tones of dust, dirt, and mud, and the vibrant color of automotive enamel and chrome.  Others focus on the natural beauty created by the random chaos of splashing water, churning dirt, and flying mud, and Pollock-like random compositions  created by the chaotic forces of water, mud, and powerful machines.

Rather than using traditional framing techniques for the work, Terrance chose to present the images in the show mounted on chrome plated aluminum diamond plate panels, and in some cases on pieces of the actual vehicles from the event, like the Dodge truck hood shown here.  The result of this unconventional presentation is to make the work seem friendlier, less pretentious than work framed behind glass, and more accessible to the viewer.  The juxtaposition of chrome and enamel with the photos also serves to intensify the already rich color of the images. 

Mudbog can be viewed at the David Ashcraft Gallery located in Gallery Row on Highway 41 in Oakhurst.  David is a sixteen year Oakhurst resident, and a multi-talented professional photographer.  David's photography consists of high resolution, large format color images of landscape and nature.  In his work David seeks to reveal emotive and awe inspiring scenes from Yosemite and the Sierra foothills.  Although landscape is a major theme of his work, David focuses on other, less familiar themes as well.  His "Chevy Series", a detailed study of an abandoned automobile in Cedar Valley, can currently be viewed at the Spectrum Gallery in Fresno. Thanks to David's experience and hard work, the opening was a rousing success. Despite bad weather, the show was packed, with more than 300 attending.  Entertainment was provided by Fresno's own Rockabilly sensation, Cattie Ness and the Revenge.  Their foot-stompin' tunes were a perfect accompaniment to the show.  All told Mudbog is well worth a look, and will be on display at the gallery through May 15th.  We sincerely hope that David continues to host similar events that serve to enrich our local community culturally and artistically.

David Ashcraft Gallery

telephone: 559-683-3375

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