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In Focus: Dan Martensen

Fountain of Youth

Crowds poured through the doors of Milk Studios on a recent Saturday night for the opening reception of “Photographs of the American Southwest,” the first monograph by Dan Martensen, an art, fashion and editorial photographer whose work has been featured on the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair and, most recently, collaborated with Rebecca Minkoff on her new resort street style web campaign.

Together Forever

Martensen’s first retrospective includes 60 crisp and vivid photographs of desolate landscapes and abandoned areas that he shot on a road trip through the Southwest between 2001 and 2011. He cites “Black Ice,” a portrait of a porcelain statue of Jesus with two small children decorated with flowers and a car air freshener in Arizona, and “Garden,” which depicts a sealed swimming pool in Texas, both showcased prominently at the gallery’s entrance, as his favorites (“they have this dichotomy that I was going for,” he said). All of the images are bound together in a 112-page limited-edition tome, which was on sale for the photographer to sign.


Yet while this range of photography strikes a different cord for Martensen than fashion, he still appreciates the creative and carefree aspect of capturing collections.

“Fashion photography is fun to do,” Martensen said. “You can wear different outfits, different personalities, which I think fashion is kind of all about.”