Orion’s Smile, consists of images Kotz shot at twilight, the most ephemeral, and technically, the trickiest natural light to capture. “That boundary time between light and darkness is so beautiful and so strange,” Kotz says. Most of the shots were serendipitous. Kotz, who travels extensively, would notice a memorable building, tree, or juxtaposition (of the natural and the artificial; or the ancient and the new), and would return at twilight.
Most of the images are shot only with available light, often that tarnished gold of early evening, mixed sometimes with the improbable lights of man: a blue neon glow from a magazine kiosk washing over a centuries-old basilica in Rome, or a white, streetlight glare glinting off a humped, Flintstones cave at a miniature golf course in Santa Fe.
“The way things look when there’s only a little light left in the sky approaches the surreal,” Kotz says. “These images are as close as a straight photographer like me can come to surrealist art,” with the added twist that this surrealism is, of course, real.
- Catherine Whitney, from Gerald Peters Gallery exhibition press release, 2008
"This body of work is about a time of day when the ordinary world transforms into the surreal. It’s when the banality of our ordinary surroundings mysteriously transforms into the sublime…Gazing up at Orion as I drift through the crepuscular light, I wonder...Does he see what I see? Is he smiling?" - jk