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Old Western Postcard

Nicole Mason

$1,300.00

Behind the Shot

The mighty saguaro cactus towers over its native Sonoran Desert in Arizona, growing to nearly 40 feet tall. Desert peoples have used the saguaro in their daily lives for thousands of years as building materials, tools and food. But they value the plant for more than just practical purposes. The Tohono O'odham Nation believes saguaros are their ancestors with living spirits.

For photographer Nicole Mason, the desert ecosystem evokes thoughts of her nonagenarian grandmother, who lives in Southern Arizona. “This image gives me a personal feeling of my relationship to this place and my grandma,” Nicole says. “She’s an incredible artist who’s had a big influence on my life. I grew up visiting her in this desert.”

People around the globe are familiar with the iconic saguaro and its connection to the American Southwest—thanks in part to its appearance in countless Hollywood movies and television shows. Often specimens were imported or fake saguaros constructed when scenes were shot outside the plant's natural range, enabling films to achieve an authentic "Western look."

“I love how timeless the desert appears in black and white—on a cloudy day with soft contrast,” Nicole points out about the photograph she captured while visiting her family in southern Arizona in 2021. “It’s an image I feel I would have seen as a postcard there when I was a kid. I love the juxtaposition of the natural elements: the sword-like cacti reaching up into the sky of fluffy, pillowy clouds.” 

Display this print in your favorite room to evoke the adventures of a road trip and the freedom of wide, open spaces.

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