"I understand photography as a means to create rather than to document a reality."
“My work over the past several years has explored the use of photography as a medium to create. Whether it is SX-70 Polaroid, photographic prints painted and then re-photographed, or shooting with the latest digital technology, I understand photography as a means to create rather than to document a reality, allowing the viewer to bring their own associations to the work.”
Contemporary photographer, Joshua Jensen-Nagle captures scenes of leisure from a distance, often from high above, transforming people on beaches and ski-slopes into toy-like figures against sublime natural backdrops. Both of his ongoing series Endless Summer and Winter show people as colorful specks clustered on long stretches of sand or snow like abstract elements. His immersive, cinematic, large-scale photos invite viewers to lose themselves in the crowd and the striking landscape, sparking associations that might resemble the artist’s own memories of “childhood summers spent along the New Jersey shore and winters in the Poconos.”
In the tradition of photographers like Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, Jensen-Nagle’s images reveal arresting visual patterns in the everyday world and create dramatic shifts in perspective that show humans completely enveloped by their environment. Viewing photography as a “means to evoke emotion rather than document a reality,” he has spent a decade traveling the globe in search of beachscapes dotted with bathers and mountainscapes sprinkled with skiers to turn into compelling images, often hanging out of helicopters to capture his birds-eye views.
Based in Toronto, Jensen-Nagle has mounted over fifty exhibitions in the last dozen years across North America and Europe, including at the Griffin Museum in Boston and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. He has placed his photographs in numerous private and corporate collections including Microsoft, MasterCard International, Cirque De Soliel, Transcontinental, Target and Hilton Hotels, and has seen his work featured in a variety of publications, including Art In America, Canadian Art, Fashion and Harper’s.