Steve Goldband & Ellen Konar

Ellen and Steve are life partners and collaborators in fine art photography. Steve’s passion for photography took root in high school and was reignited with the advent of digital photography. His keen eye for geometry, formal structure and texture pervade his work in urban landscapes and more recent work in documentary and portraiture.

Ellen began her photographic journey with curation, her passion for memory and interest in book making. Her eye for color and sentiment compliment Steve’s for formal interests. Their photographic collaborations continually test and strengthen their negotiation as well as artistic skills. Together Steve and Ellen have exhibited widely, published multiple photographic books and been recognized in many competitions.They have mounted solo shows at PHOTO gallery in Oakland, the Palo Alto Jewish Community Center, The Mountain View Center for Performing Arts and Stanford University Art Spaces among others. They are active members of several photographic groups including the Bay Area Photographers Collective (BAPC). Their recent projects include Cut Short and Fertile Ground which have refocused them on California issues and environs.

Artist’s Statement

The series “Fertile Ground” pays homage to the seemingly endless “factories in fields” of California. The viewer is presented with resplendent arrays of meticulously managed fields and individual plants peeking through plastic pathways. The images narrate the transfer of incipient strawberry seedlings, initially multiplied in massive greenhouses, to massive fields where they are irrigated and fumigated to yield 20 times those of fields in New York. The seemingly infinite geometries, plays of light and dark, and hints of texture and detail reveal much to cheer, and also reasons to fear, the culture of modern day agronomy that feeds America in the 21st Century.

Our photographic approach builds on the groundbreaking New Topographics of Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz and others who introduced the idea that anthropogenic landscapes embody both intrinsic beauty and cultural significance. More recent work by Mark Klett, Robert Dawson and their contemporaries continues to inspire this conversation about the artistic and societal lessons to be learned from the seemingly prosaic and hyper-functional scenes that surround us in the American West.