Photography exhibit shows off Museum's 'Heavy Metal'

Dec 12, 2014

Richard Ondrovic will be the first to admit that he sees things a little differently than most people.

His unique perspective is showscased in a new photography exhibit at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum called “Heavy Metal: Vintage Farm Equipment by Richard Ondrovic.”

Twenty-eight photographs of the museum’s vintage farm equipment is featured in this show by Ondrovic, a former software engineer from New York who now lives in El Paso. His photographs, which are now on display in the museum’s Arts Corridor, emphasize the complex shapes that make up the machinery.

“I’ve always been told that I don’t see the world the way other people do,” he said. “My world is a collection of lines, curves, lights, and shadows. Old farming and ranching machinery is particularly fascinating because of all the complex shapes that combine to create the machine. The sunlight that gives life to the crops also gives life to the machines in my imagery.”

But unusual shapes and perspectives are a characteristic of Ondrovic’s work as a photographer, and the museum’s collection of antique farm equipment proved to be a natural subject for him.

“They resonate very, very strongly with me,” said Ondrovic, who admires the functionality of the machines, their shapes, and the genius of the people who created them. “They’re the shape they are because they’re the shapes that work … there’s no pretension about them. They’re purely functional, and that’s the beauty.”

After capturing the image, Ondrovic enjoys manipulating the final photograph with computer software to “make the image look like what I have in my mind.” When he’s not shooting for fun, Richard spends his time exploring the area around El Paso, where he moved with his wife Lisa in 2011 – along with running a business where he does IT consulting, website development, and product photography.

An artist’s reception, featuring refreshments and free admission, is Jan. 15 from 6-8 p.m. The exhibit will be in the Arts Corridor through April 5.

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission si $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and $2 for children 5 to 17. Veterans, Museum Friends members and children 4 and under are admitted free of charge.

For more information, please call (575) 522-4100.

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For information contact Craig Massey at craig.massey@state.nm.us.