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It's the End of the World As We Know It. You Feel Fine  



Welcome, and thank you for coming by to take a look



As the painter Agnes Martin said, when I think of art I think of beauty.  Yet, in these times of image glut, our ways of seeing photographic beauty risk becoming played out: a pleasing, endless rose parade of favorite subjects, conventional tropes, and algorithmic enhancements. 


Our species these days cranks out more than 60,000 new images per second for somebody somewhere to appreciate. Most of this work is numbingly similar in subject and handling, and the barrage inevitably damps aesthetic response. 


Is there more to be done with beauty in photography, beyond taking yet more pictures of lovely things in the favored fine art formats? 


My work seeks to refresh a sense of the unexpected in lens-based beauty, first for my own eyes and then maybe also for yours.  Here we encounter it in less familiar contexts, and look beyond the usual notions of prettiness to connect beauty more directly and deeply with ideas that matter to us, ideas that go to the heart of life and death and human folly.


You'll find a lot on view. 

  • A dozen photo-essays. 
  • 40 portfolios.  Maybe 1000 images.
  • Many styles and experiments.
  • Some sad and shocking things.

The art here involves looking at pictures, of course, but not just that.  The titles and texts, which can be substantial and deliberately disruptive, prod you to consider alternate meanings, and may change how you feel about what you're seeing.


Beauty. Karma. Chaos.  (2020)


(The images and texts are conceived for viewing together on a desktop screen, where it may be helpful to expand the image for a better view.  If you're visiting instead by phone or tablet, you can find an image's related material by clicking on the title.)  


I designed this gallery space with your visit in mind, organizing images and essays with care around a menu of alternate contexts for beauty. Each group of portfolios opens with a brief intro, the ..why


Four pages provide a consolidated preview of my work and the conceptual framework that shapes the rest of the site. 



1 | this art, this artist


2 | the problem of beauty


3 | why beauty from metaphor 


4 | why alienated beauty



From there, head anywhere.


Again thank you.  

It's wonderful that you've come by.  


Beauty is the Beast   (2016)




Except where indicated, all text and images at this website are (c) 2023 Hunter Madsen, with all rights reserved.  No reproduction or distribution without prior written permission.