Let’s get one thing straight, I’m a photo-based artist, not a commercial or fine art photographer. Photographers work in a controlled, even scientific, environment. I am a participant observer, employing subjective conceptual documentary practice. My approach to photography is conflicted and perverse; bringing gesture, hazard and a painterly sensibility into this most technical of media, I purposefully allow chance elements to slip into my shooting. The work I am most attracted to is dark and blurry, what I call the ‘dark pond.’ Photography is light, all about light; I delve into the dark pond. I do not believe in the perfect moment, but many moments of imperfection that make up the whole of our messy lives and selves, pointing at something just out of our perceptual reach.
I am interested in Indeterminacy, the philosophy championed by pioneer experimental multidisciplinary artist John Cage that opens up artistic practice to the random as a way of radically breaking from tradition, convention and habit. As Cage said, “Indeterminacy in art is made not as an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living.”
I work on a project-by-project basis, and summarily refuse a signature style. Each new project is different from the last, from how it is shot, to its installation, determined by the unique needs of the situation. I consider all of my work to be portraiture, whether it portrays a person, a place or a thing. I gravitate toward things from which the rest of the world turns away – I approach the marginalized, and work subjectively with them to create a space where hopefully we can speak. I want my work to be meaningful and transformative. I like photographs that are unexpected. I deal in paradox: the cognitive dissonance between estrangement and recognition, aversion and attraction, harshness and beauty, bravura and restraint, outrageousness and subtlety, expressionism and classicism.
Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)
- Walt Whitman
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