The gallery of large photos you see at the top of the home page are from the series called Survey Flags. They are all images of locations which have been surveyed pending "development" of one sort or another, I usually don't know what is going to be built at these sites but they are nearly always in beautiful places.
I see the phenomenon of transnational corporate sprawl as a flood which is inundating and annihilating ancient and natural places on a world wide scale. The edges of this flood are demarcated by the surveyors who are planting flags in the name of “progress”, and it is at these edges that I create my work.
The photographs in this current portfolio are of survey flags marking future construction sites in remote natural locations. They represent the latest in a long series of my photographs which address issues of urban sprawl. This body of work leverages the “festive” quality of the survey flags against the impending destruction awaiting these locations.
Art critic Margaret Regan’s review of my work in the 2010 Arizona Biennial stated, “...Robert Renfrow...photographed the cheerful colored flags of the surveyor’s trade; they wave gaily, and ominously, in an unspoiled landscape of mountains and plain.”
I see my work as being in the general linage of the photography movements of the New Topographic and Rephotographic Survey however, unlike those movements, which show the landscape after it has been changed, I am documenting the very moment prior to the permanent alteration of a natural landscape.
Robert Renfrow graduated as Salutatorian of his class from the Kansas City Art Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography/Video in 1988. Renfrow was then awarded a Graduate Fellowship to attend the Universityof Arizona receiving his MFA in Photography in 1991.
In 1994 he co-founded ARTIS, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping artists travel and study abroad and taught in Italy for several years.
Currently, he teaches photography and Photoshop at his studio in Tucson Arizona as well as conducting photography workshops internationally. He is an artist-in-residence for the Arizona Commission on the Arts and is on the faculty of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. His artworks in both photography and video have been exhibited in Europe and throughout the USA.