King of the
                  Night Fritillaria

Queen of the
                    Night

 


VOLUME IV
SPECIAL EDITION: CY DECOSSE
The Gardens of DeCosse
photographs by Cy DeCosse

Includes Seven Hand-pulled Photogravures

Trade Edition: Elegant hardbound in Italian fabric and illustrated throughout with 50 richly printed tritone plates.
Edition is limited to 850 numbered copies.
Book dimensions: 13 x 15 inches

Deluxe Edition: sold out
The oversized, signed and numbered Deluxe Edition includes 7 elegant hand-pulled photogravures and 43 tritone plates custom bound in Moroccan goatskin and embossed Italian fabric, and encased in a matching embossed basswood portfolio box. Edition limited to 100 numbered copies with 7 bound hand-pulled photogravures. Book signed by Cy DeCosse and contributing writers.
Book dimensions: 13 x 15 inches

Museum Edition of 50 copies: sold out

To order: please contact us (combination offers available)


                      Sunflower Cultured
                      Pearl

Squash Flowers
                        & Dill

Where do DeCosses photographs take us? First, they whisk us away to lush gardens where we can sit on imaginations wrought-iron bench, where we can dream our way through a sunny afternoon, into twilight, into moonlight. "The eye must learn to abandon its long habit of useful serving, poet Jane Hirshfield tells us, "and take up instead an active delight in its own ends." The inner eye too finds sources of contemplation here. The image created by the artist--photographic, poetic--allows us to see into and through the world, a kind of double-seeing that leads, if only briefly, to the possibility of the transcendent. The sudden seeing of one thing as another begins to suggest the relatedness of everything, everyone, a consciousness we now understand we must maintain if the planet itself is to survive. This is not a new version of nineteenth century Symbolism, where the natural world is merely symbol for the spiritual essence behind. We value this world even as art gives us glimmers of something beyond it.

To love beauty as it comes to us through nature and through art--here in DeCosses sublime photographs--is not to deny the pain, the ugliness, the violence of the world; we are not Pollyannas playing "he loves me, he loves me not" with the petals of a daisy or even of a night-blooming cereus. It is instead to enter the mystery of our lives. It is to step momentarily out of time, into the exotic-erotic, into the sacred.
(from: Art and the Exotic: On the Work of Cy DeCosse by Susan Ludvigson)


 

An Interview With Cy Decosse
Following the Opening of His Exhibition Flowers Exotic & Rare, January 27, 2000,
At the John Stevenson Gallery in New York

John Stevenson: You have a deep, passionate, unifying sense of the beautiful. You seem to coax it out. You always revolve around the beautiful. But what is beautiful? What does that mean?

Cy Decosse: Well, I just believe that flowers are the most gorgeous things in nature. Flowers are nature regenerating itself, nature in love. I just assume there's a beauty there. But then I have to find it. Where does that work in photography? I don't think you can take a flat-out photo of something and have it be interesting.

An image of the rose should become something more. It should make me think of the first time I gave a rose to my mother, something like that. It has to have some kind of edge, some kind of magic, some mystery. That image must have something going for it. It should make you stop and say, "Wow!"

JS: What in a lifetime has photography taught you as a person?

CD: I think I've learned to keep my eyes open, to be more aware. And the way that I work, photography has taught me to keep trying, to keep looking, for that essence of things. But for me, it's not done quickly.
  

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