Move aside Wes Anderson. Todd Baxter’s “Owl Scouts” look like stills from a movie, but they are part of a dark and exciting photo series that sparks the imagination. This ongoing series follows two fictional scouts experiencing life’s challenges and misadventures. They experience every danger the wilderness has to offer, from nearly drowning to being swept up by a tornado. The custom badges worn on their sleeves tell an untold story of happier times of riding grizzly bears and deer. Upon closer inspection, it’s easy to forget these are photos. The color and lighting is surreal, the details are impeccable, and the scenes are other-worldly, often terrifying. His singular conceptual work has the same artistic style, with touches of space-age contemporary 1960s and 70s. It’s no surprise that Baxter’s painterly photography stems from a background in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Among his inspirations is 1970s design, natural history museums, retro technology, and animals or biodiversity. If you like “Owl Scouts”, be sure to look up Baxter’s new series “Project Astoria: Test One” about retro-futuristic alien explorers from the Astoria System.
“Project Astoria: Test One”: