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Jesse Chehak is a fine art and commercial photographer currently based in Tucson, Arizona. His work has appeared in many publications, including Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Dwell, GQ and T: The New York Times Style Magazine. His ongoing study of landscape photographs of the American West, “Fool’s Gold,” will soon be published as a book.
Hollywood Beach, 1988
This is Chehak at Hollywood Beach in Oxnard, California.
Photograph Taken by Chehak in Yosemite, 1992
Chehak made this photograph in Yosemite when he was 13 years old. "I remember like yesterday the moment I made that picture, and what it felt and smelled like there," Chehak says. "During the same trip, I stepped on a hornets' or wasps' nest and was stung like a million times." The picture won a junior-high photography contest.
Ed Ruscha Photographs of Billboards in Los Angeles, College Years
These are photographs of billboards in Los Angeles shot in 1976 and 1977 by Ed Ruscha, one of Chehak's favorite living artists. Chehak discovered Ruscha's work in college. "I am charmed by his story, how he was a trained sign painter from Oklahoma who moved to L.A.," Chehak says. "When I found his books and typologies and saw a big Whitney exhibition some years ago, I really got absorbed by his deadpan ideas, his precision, and of course his unrelenting stamina and rigor. And to top it off, a great deal of his work is about L.A., the Valley, then Hollywood—where I grew up."
Chehak on Location near Malaga, Spain, 2006
Chehak was dispatched to Malaga to collaborate with Mother, an advertising agency in London and New York, on a campaign for Orange, a European mobile phone provider. He worked a large motion crew for a week on a remote ranch and lake. "I'm fortunate in that I get sent to remote places frequently, a precious perk to being a field photographer," Chehak says. "It's been said before, but being a photographer includes this unspoken license to stare at things longer than normal and interact with the landscape in an active way, and of course to meet strangers along the way. It's great for balancing my introverted nature."
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Chehak in Liechtenstein, 2009
This is Chehak in Liechtenstein, on assignment for T: The New York Times Style Magazine. “The magazine sent me to shoot a travel story about the teeny tiny country between Switzerland and Austria,” Chehak says. “It has this utopian, pastoral landscape, all local free-range food, an odd postage stamp fetish, and the prince's picture-perfect vineyard, which he can easily see from his castle window on the mountains above. It's really from a fairy tale, Liechtenstein.”