Photographer, Anastasia Sofos takes us on a feast of urban decay from Northern California to the heart of the beauteous, sublime, trailer park wasteland of a paradise, The Salton Sea.
This is what Anastasia calls, the Zen of decay. The ultimate moment of awestruck realities beyond reality where nothing can be felt but a voiceless hum. The Salton Sea represents, without modification, the raw, unpolished masterpiece of evolution.
Brought into creation every 400-600 years, the Salton Sea – the largest lake in California- is born of off run river, rainfall and agricultural run off for tens of thousands of years, drying up in between. The current fill in 1905 birthed and extraordinarily, bushwa, upscale resort town through the 1950’s and 60’s where Hollywood celebrities, debutants and sport events flocked. Vintage trailers, speed boats, yacht club and hotels created the Salton Riviera where hot babes in sunscreen and cat eyed sunglasses glamoured. Without any outflow, the saline levels in the water rose to great extent, 25% above ocean water. Fish died by tens and thousands over the years, their botulism killed the birds, the stench of fish carcasses hung in the air. Salton Riviera: Abandoned.
Moved by cycles of birth and decay, Anastasia took the long drive to desolation to create art photography for us. She finds it so rare in our times to see the reality of decay, death, sickness, imperfection so unhidden before replaced quickly, removed, polished, fixed. She seeks to restore the authentic beauty and passion that lives so unabashedly in urban decay. The same wonder of nature filling the dry lake bed for tens of thousands of years, was taking it back, slowly. Labyrinths of dead fish line the shore, trailer park grave yards take a glamorous death like retired stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era, thunder and lightning storms pound as the sun sets behind the beautiful haze of thick air on the blissful gleam of water. The once native land comes through in fierce beauty on what looks apocalypse by the sea.
The photographs seek to communicate compassion, realization and full embrace of the decaying process of our own inner landscapes and of our fellow humans. These images express the need to love the humanity, all of it and the fearlessness available to do so. That nothing is wasted and we all belong here as we are, Love enveloped in the zen of decay.
About Anastasia Sofos
Anastasia is a San Francisco born, Bay Area based photographer utilizing color, black and white digital photography as a medium. Her interest and skill create intimacy with every subject matter from inherent beauty bursting through eroded structures in the Mojave Desert, to the quintessential living spirit forever alive in San Francisco day and night. Urban photography and rustic architecture from India to Oakland, California has been her focus in recent years. She also offers commercial interior and event photography. As a returning featured photographer for Dodho Magazine in Barcelona Spain, her work is also available at Wonderland Gallery in San Francisco, the international Pancakes & Booze Art Show, has shown with LAB Art Show, Vancouver Canada and various local/ international small businesses. Please contact the artist directly for sales, shows, auctions, charity.