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Town and Country: Priscilla Rattazzi's Utah Photographs Are a Stunning Escape

If you head out to the desert of Utah (perhaps for a stay at the remote Amangiri resort, which recently opened a set of luxury tented camps deeper into the property) you are likely to find hoodoos: tall, thin, mushroom-capped columns of rock formed by years of weathering and erosion. These geological wonders have enchanted the celebrated photographer Priscilla Rattazzi since she first visited southwest Utah 10 years ago and explored Lake Powell and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

In 2017, President Trump ordered that the area's protected lands be reduced by nearly 47%, one of the largest rollbacks of public land in the country's history. Outraged, Rattazzi went back to photograph the hoodoos to document the now-threatened land. These works are now collected in a new exhibition at the Staley-Wise gallery in New York, opening September 17.

"While the fate of the monument will likely end up with the Supreme Court, my hope is that this project will raise awareness of the threat to this national treasure, while highlighting the stark beauty and magic of this land," she said. Rattazzi (who is the niece of Gianni Agnelli, the late owner of Fiat) was born in Rome and moved to the United States in 1974. Early on, she worked for the famed fashion photographer Hiro, and her images have appeared in New York, Vogue, Self, and Brides. The exhibition, "Hoodooland," is on exhibit at Staley-Wise in New York from September 17 - November 7, 2020. The gallery is currently open by appointment only, and will host a "meet the artist" event with Rattazzi on September 17, 11:00 - 7:00 (RSVP required).

By Liz Cantrell

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