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b. 1956, Washington, D.C.
Lives and works in Touraine, France
Initially trained in photography, Blondes began exploring the tradition of plein aire painting after moving to France for the second time in the late 1980s. His attraction to painting outside in all weather afforded him the opportunity to record finite temporal experiences. He also made monotypes in what he describes as his “mobile studio”—a converted Citroen truck equipped with a press that allowed him to navigate his surroundings and print on site.
Analogous to avant-garde composer John Cage, Blondes embraces the indeterminism and sensuality of nature. A self-proclaimed “accidental Buddhist,” Blondes’ artistic practice is one of endurance; a serial process of “standing and staring.” The products of his excursions into the natural world act as containers of his experience and time spent.
The scheduling and location of filming is frequently planned to coincide with extraordinary planetary cycles or seasonal transitions, often taking place in extreme latitudes, altitudes, or destinations where natural phenomena are particularly concentrated. After determining how he wishes to frame an event or capture an environment with his cameras—the artist disavows his artistic authority, allowing nature to unfold onto the frame. What can at first appear as simple imagery reveals subtle complexity over a prolonged encounter with the work. Blondes purposefully mutes sound in his videos, denying the viewer a total sensory experience and encouraging them to engage with more intense focus.
Blondes’ work is collected both publicly and privately. Past exhibitions include the Centre d’arts et de nature, Chaumont-sur-Loire; Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, France; Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT; bitforms gallery, New York, NY; David Findlay Jr. Contemporary, New York, NY; Metivier Gallery, Toronto, Canada; Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; Hackett-Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA; The Fine Art Society, London, UK; Reeves Contemporary, New York, NY; Alan Cristea, London, UK; Gallerie Kita, Lille, France; and Sala Perez, Barcelona, Spain; among others.