TIFA 2023 Book / Nature

Blurred Boundaries: Perspectives On Rock Art of The Greater Southwest

  • Prize
    Gold in Book/Nature
  • Photographer
    William Frej
  • Agency / Studio
    William Frej Photography
  • Technical Info
    Full Frame, Dslr, Aperture Priority, 14 To 200 Mm Lenses, Nikon D850
  • Photo Date
    April 2021 - December 2022

Enigmatic rock art featuring a myriad of symbols and designs can be found throughout remote landscapes of the Greater Southwest. This vast gallery of ancient art offers intriguing questions. Who created these images on stone? What do they mean? My black and white photography explores this diverse and mysterious imagery and present clues to the symbolic content of these stone murals. Accompanied by an essay by Polly Schaafsma, this volume addresses elements of the visual vocabulary of rock art that move beyond Western philosophy to consider an animistic universe in which all things are sacred.

I have been photographing indigenous peoples' culture for over forty years, living in Indonesia, Poland, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Afghanistan. My work is represented in numerous public and private collections, and academic institutions throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Asia Pacific Museum in Warsaw, San Francisco Arts Commission, Dumbarton Oaks, Spanish Colonial Museum in Santa Fe and special collections at Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Duke, Notre Dame and the University of New Mexico. My two award-winning photo books were published in October 2020 and October 2021.