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IntroductionTHE DESERT GLOW
In no other culture in the world have art and commerce grown so inseparable as in the US. Like lighthouses in the night, billboards of the most adventurous shapes and colors draw people into hotels, restaurants, and casinos along the lonely highways and glittering strips of Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City.
In the Neon Boneyard of Las Vegas’s Neon Museum, the ever-young history of America’s exalted advertisement and pop culture spreads out across 3 acres. Under the glistening sun of the Nevada desert, the disused, sometimes gigantic signs and advertisement “sculptures” have become discolored. They originate from the legendary game halls such as the Gold Nugget and Silver Slipper; today they seem an echo of a golden age.
The Düsseldorf photographer Ralph Richter has consequently captured the extinguished objects in photographs whose colors have been highly unsaturated so as to lend the fast-paced constructions an almost historic aura. Dramatic contrasts, tight, highly composed cropping, and precise selection of each motif strengthen the effect. From the vast abundance, Richter has selected single, powerful words that, in his images, extend well beyond the mere sales pitch.
1963 born in Salzgitter-Bad, Germany raised in East Frisia, Germany 1983 Abitur degree 1985 studied visual communication and photo/film design at the Fachhochschule Dortmund while completing six semesters in architecture at the University of Dortmund, Germany 1987 freelance employee at WDR local TV in Dortmund as a "cable monkey," later as sports reporter 1989 began freelancing in architectural and commercial product photography 1991 completed degree exams to become a photo designer, Fachhochschule Dortmund 1992 founding of the image archive …architekturphoto 1993 office in Düsseldorf, Germany since June 2003 sole proprietor of image archive …architekturphotoExhibitions
Abbaye Notre Dame du Gard, Amiens, France Fotografisches Zentrum der UDSSR, Moscow, Russia Galerie Aedes, Berlin, Germany Linhoffgalerie, Munich, Germany World Financial Center, New York, USA Museum am Hansaplatz, Dortmund, Germany