|Notes on THE GARDEN||view bio|
The garden has been called many things: a form of autobiography, a restoration of the five senses, a signifier of wealth and possession, and a collaboration between nature and art, to name just a few. Above all, though, a garden demands an audience, and it has found a vigilant one in Tony Mendoza. This community garden in Grandview Heights, Ohio, where Mendoza's wife has a plot, bears little resemblance to the ordered English gardens of Henry James novels. But that has as much to do with Mendoza's worm's eye view as it does with the gardeners' seeding and weeding philosophy. He unblinkingly observes a subject that is more typically captured at its pristine, immaculate best. Thus, he shoots what he sees up close—ants and weeds included—rather than what the gardener intended us to see from a distance. In Mendoza's world, it turns out, nature is not necessarily best captured in sunlight. His unique perspective shows us a secret garden that is triumphant in all seasons—and what better tribute to a community garden that blooms proudly and incongruously amidst the urban sprawl.