Photographer Larry Kanfer Presents: “Prairie and Farm Landscapes”
On his website, Kanfer explains:
“In all of my photography, I like to look at things with an outsider’s eyes. If you look at a familiar place from a new angle or at a different time of day, it creates a completely different environment than you knew existed. I try to celebrate the subtle details of human existence and daily routines that are often overlooked by highlighting these accidental discoveries in my surroundings. The generations of lifecycles intertwined with the land create serendipitous meaning, beauty, and richness all around us. While on the surface, the Midwestern landscape may appear barren, beneath the surface I see layers and layers of human efforts nurturing each other and the landscape to exist in concert with the whims of nature. When someone looks at one of my photographs, I hope it evokes some emotion… a sense of personal history, a sense of the land being worked, a sense of the fullness of time.
A longtime resident of Champaign-Urbana, Larry graduated from the University of Illinois in 1979. Immediately afterwards, he opened his own photography gallery, which he has maintained since then. With a career spanning over thirty years, Larry has had the rare opportunity of making his art his profession.
Larry’s works are shown in galleries, museums, and private and corporate collections across the United States. Praised by ARTnews, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post, he is primarily known as the pre-eminent photographer of Midwestern Prairiescapes. This collection has garnered comparisons to the works of Eliot Porter and Ansel Adams.
Throughout college, Larry supported himself with his photography, specializing in portraits and wedding photography. In his spare time, he photographed the prairie of central Illinois. Kanfer acknowledges “…that no doubt my concepts of light and shadow, form, and composition were greatly influenced by my studies in architecture. But I was paying for the architecture classes with my photography. I had been developing my own images since I was 10 years old. I always loved the special challenges inherent in photography, I just wasn’t sure I could make a living at it.” An apt observer of customers’ tastes, his integrity and persistence helped jumpstart his career. After receiving his degree in architecture from the University of Illinois, he began to pursue his passion, photography, as his profession.”
It is his farm and prairie landscapes that will be featured during this program. These themes connect to the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.”
Sponsored by the Illinois Humanities.