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DESERT DISTILLATIONS SUSAN SLOTTER SEARCHES THE WORLD OF FOUR CORNERS FOR THE SOUL OF NATURE

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"THE DESERT DISTILLS EVERYTHING DOWN TO ITS ESSENCE," SAYS ASPEN-based Susan Slotter, and in one of her favorite photographic haunts, the Four Corners region of the Southwest, the distillation goes so far as to include geographical boundaries. As New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah intersect in the Four Corners, so too do Slotter's nudes, sometimes overlapping quite literally with the landscape in the form of medium-format "transparency sandwiches." Slotter believes her multiple imaging, done in collaboration with a Boulder photographic printer, is a fairly uncommon practice, and not as easy as it might appear. Exposures can take as long as 25 minutes, she says, but the locale is particularly inviting for this kind of work. "The warm reds of the desert layer really well," she notes, while "dense colors like greens do not."

Slotter, 36, is a latecomer to the professional ranks, who didn't get serious about photography till she attended the Maine Photographic Workshops in 1989. Her Four Corners explorations are a return to the desert, of sorts; her family is from the Midwest, but she grew up in Istanbul, where her father was a teacher. She came back to the U.S. for high school in Evanston, Ill., went to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and later moved to New York where she worked at Sotheby's auction house and ran a private Rodin museum for a collector in the Wall Street area.

As far as commercial work is concerned, Slotter, who has had several exhibitions in Aspen galleries, is definitely interested, although she's just beginning to put out feelers (she recently signed for representation with Chicago's Fiat & Associates). Her most recent trip to New York took her to some fragrance companies-she believes her images are readily applicable in perfumed print-but she has yet to make the rounds of agencies or stock photo houses. In the meantime, the desert periodically calls, as she accumulates images, some multiple, some not, for a book to be titled "SoulScapes," expected around the end of this year.

BY TERRY KATTLEMAN

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