Robert Buelteman is a celebrated fine art photographer whose works connect audience to subject in an emotionally transcendent manner, consistent with the traditions of eastern wisdom and western revelation. Whether examining the grand landscape or inquiring into the design of plants, his prints are a powerful extraction of beauty and substance revealing unrecognized dimensions in the commonplace.
Mr. Buelteman discovered his love of the land as a child growing up in the small town of Woodside on the peninsula south of the city of San Francisco. From his family home he looked out on the Santa Cruz Mountains, whose deep canyons, redwood groves, and daily tides of ocean-borne fog inspired the veneration of life and light that appear in his work today.
He has published fifteen photographic portfolios over his forty years in photography, and three of these, The Unseen Peninsula (1994), Eighteen Days in June (2000), and Signs of Life (2009) were published as award-winning monographs. In 1999, Buelteman left photographic tradition behind in creating Through the Green Fuse, a portfolio of unique photograms made without cameras, lenses, or computers.
Working exclusively with large sheets of photographic film, the living plant is used as a filter through which high-voltage electricity and fiber-optically-delivered light are passed. The resulting images serve as window on the mystery of life, and were compared by the Los Angeles Times with pictures of our universe made by the Hubble telescope.
As a result of the success of this new work, Mr. Buelteman was appointed to be the Artist-in- Residence at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico in 2003. In 2006 Buelteman completed work on two new portfolios, Sangre de Cristo, the flora of Santa Fe, and Rancho Corral de Tierra, the flora of his hometown of Montara located on the North coast of California.
In 2007, the photographer was diagnosed with advanced Lyme Disease, bringing an end to the most productive period of his career. In 2010, he was invited to be a guest at Stanford University’s highly restricted Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where he returned to deepening his artistic inquiry into the design of life.
He has received accolades from institutions as diverse as the United States Congress, the Commonwealth Club of California, Committee for Green Foothills, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Since 2010 his art has been the subject of dozens of essays in 23 languages on six continents around the globe, and can be found in public and private collections worldwide, including the Yale University Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers, Bank of America, Adobe Systems, Stanford University, Xerox, and Nikon.