"Over time I have found that there is a remarkable shared fragility between California's rural landscapes and un-gentrified urban neighborhoods. Minimal Hardscapes/ Flat Values, is a new topographic series that focuses on the hardscapes in Southern California's un-gentrified neighborhoods juxtaposed with rural landscapes of Central and Northern California. The foundation of the photographs are inspired by the new topographic photography movement with applied philosophies from the minimalist art movement in the 1960’s. In my humble opinion minimalism is more that the exclusion of the unnecessary, it is a sacrifice of what is expected without the support of a metaphor. These are the landscapes before us here and now, they are of our time and I am documenting them."
Rachelle Mendez grew up in Northern California on acres of open land in a small rural community outside of Sacramento. After moving to Southern California to obtain a bachelors degree in Advertising/ Graphic Design she started exploring the idea of photographing her parent’s expansive land in a more graphic and concise way. This aesthetic lead to her first on going photo series; The Rural. Slowly evolving from the expansive landscapes to the highly congested landscapes of Los Angeles and Orange County’s suburbs, Rachelle created her most passionate and inclusive series; Minimal Hardscapes/ Flat Values.