The Locusts is the first monograph by photographer and publisher Jesse Lenz. His images transport the reader to rural Ohio where his children run wild in the fields, build forts in the attic, and fall asleep surrounded by lightsabers and superheroes. The microcosmic worlds of plants, insects, animals, and children create a brooding landscape where dichotomies of nature play out in front of his growing family. The backyard becomes a labyrinth of passages as the children experience the cycles of birth and death in the changing seasons. The Locusts depicts a world in which beautiful and terrible things will happen, but offers grace and healing within the brokenness and imperfection of life.
Jesse Lenz (1988, Montana) is a self-taught photographer and multidisciplinary artist. As an illustrator he has created images for the most well-respected publications around the world, including TIME, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many others. He is the founder and director of Charcoal Book Club and the Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review. From 2011-2018 he also co-founded and published The Collective Quarterly and The Coyote Journal. He lives on a farm in rural Ohio.
“The Locusts is a wonderful, very personal work, almost an elegy. Details from life, not of theory. Perhaps this is old fashioned, but 'true to life' is still, to my mind, the higher accomplishment.”
“It is tender and sweet, something that I think we need a lot more of right now in the world.”
“Jesse Lenz expertly crafts a grainy dreamscape that beautifully reveals the wonder of childhood and life’s painful lessons.”
“With a profoundly tender eye and an unerring acuity of detail, The Locusts reminds us of this–that while life is, life goes away.”
“Ethereal, tender and ultimately affirming. The Locusts is also the most finely crafted book I’ve held in a long time.”
“Turning the pages is like moving through tall grass at dusk, a mix of trepidation and wonder.”
“Beyond every frame of every photo, the heartbreaking locusts of progress and desecration are out there somewhere, massing inexorably in the darkness beyond the cardboard fortresses and the fields.”