A Conversation with John Ganis

Screenshot 2016-03-10 11.02.30A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN GANIS
Mary McNichols, PhD
Having described himself as “…a photographic artist committed to issues of environmental concern…” (Artist Statement: Sea Rise and the Endangered Coast, 2010), Detroit-based photographer John Ganis documents the all too frequently ruinous convergence of nature and culture in his images of a land despoiled of its beauty by unbridled expansion. Ganis’s photographs of oil spills, strip mining sites, toxic-waste dumps and threatened coastal regions are, yet, richly-rendered images whose aesthetic quality seemingly belies their disturbing theme. The sumptuous color of the artist’s panoramic pictures provides an effective and ironic counterpoint to the disquieting nature of the subject matter; his adroit approach to composition (that which he describes as a “well-structured photograph”) heightens the viewer’s perception of the content.

Despite the scars visited upon it by humanity, Ganis celebrates the land. He speaks of an “empathy” and a “reverence” for all of nature, and hopes that his photographs will inspire his audience to appreciate its fragile beauty and, ultimately, to replace a legacy of consumption with one of sustainability.

John Ganis was the recipient of the Harold Jones Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Arizona in 2008 and the Honored Educator Award, Society for Photographic Education, Midwest Region in 2007. Having joined the faculty of the Photography Department at the College for Creative Studies in 1980, he has served the school as Department Chair as well as in his present position as Professor of Photography.

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