“An an artist, the majority of my work deals with the coexistence of the dark and light sides of human nature. The sinner and saint in all of us. My drawings and paintings are figurative, narrative, perhaps even, through the use of symbology, somewhat surreal.
Humans have the ability, whether consciously or subconsciously, to mask through repression, either their shadow or their lightness, to show us a manufactured persona. The subjects that inhabit my works are taken from 19th and early 20th century care de visites, tin types and photographs. They are chosen because something about their countenance speaks to me and I sense within myself the beginnings of a story. It cannot be denied that photographs capture an essence of the subject but my interest lies in uncovering the possibilities of other aspects in their personalities. Historic figures and personalities allow for the research into what shaped who they were or how I have learned to perceive them. Further, it allows me to discover other qualities which might shift my perceptions. To make them more human. My conclusions and the narratives that follow them are subjective.
The simplicity of early posed portraits, with uncomplicated backgrounds or situations, allow me to conjure up complete lives an persons for the subjects. When the subject’s identity is unknown or there is no celebrity attached there are no preconceived notions about who the person is. I begin by reading the subjects face, body language and self presentation within the photographers constructed image.
I feel there is a mystical and spiritual quality to photography, especially in the images of people. Captured there on glass plate, celluloid or paper is an image that contains a sense of completeness about the subject’s life and location at that instant. The subject then continues to live through the photograph, far beyond the instant the shutter was opened and closed. An irony is created between the sense of life it captures and sustains and the certainty of the subject’s passing from this realm. “Now you see it. Now you don’t.”
Whether I am focusing on the virtues or faults of a subject my intention is to celebrate that person’s existence and the complexity of a life. Hopefully my work creates another small opening in time and brings the subject’s life into the consciousness of the viewer. Perhaps the viewer stops to consider the subject’s life and that life’s importance in the universal continuum. Moreover, to realize an awareness of the importance of the lives around us which will one day pass from this tangible realm.”
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