Among the greatest artistic influences in my work are abstraction and the concepts of time, memory, and the unconscious. I tend to embrace the minimal aspects of a subject while attempting to draw a strong reaction. Photographic images (primarily, but not exclusively, black and white), are the best medium for me to do this, since I document, based on my shooting technique, a bare bones form of objective reality I can alter and manipulate freely, acting as a bridge to the interior life, merging both in unexpected ways.
At the editing stage, the first photograph sets the course for what follows. In some cases, the process ends there; it feels complete. In other instances, the image works by itself and/or in a collage, which I may also turn into a mixed media artwork, using materials such as wood panels, dye sublimation printing on Chromaluxe aluminum sheets, LED lights, and movable metal brackets. To me, this is pure visual alchemy, the sum total of the piece itself transcending its components. At times, I take the recognizability of objects to the limit, challenging the viewer’s perception. I also tend to shoot high contrast images with deeply saturated blacks. I may also invert the images, so that dark areas are light, and light areas dark. The absence of light reversed, as in whitespace explorer, my poetic contemplation on the discovery of an alternate universe. Either way, negative space can sometimes reveal so much more to me than many well lit scenes. I call this the “krush”. It’s the perfect antithesis to what so many viewers expect when looking at a photograph. The dark zones give the light areas, however faint, far greater definition. In Cocktails, applied vertical scratches just below the neon sign are to the left and right of the building, suggesting a cocktail glass. Going deeper, I explore themes of nostalgia and urban night life as sparingly as possible, graphically manipulating the images as needed, not detracting from, or overwhelming, the initial intent of each photograph.
Persistence of memory: a photograph taken in the past can relate to one taken in the present, both psychologically and visually. A childhood memory. Solitude. The human condition. Imagining the future. An erotic impulse. Geometric similarities. Spatial relationships. Compatibility of perspectives. I find thinking about the connection between images I take in this way–which at first I was not consciously aware of–works extremely well for developing my abstract compositions.
In short, when I capture an image, there is always a sense of bliss, a Eureka moment. The sheer compulsion of having to take that particular shot and not another is what drives me. It’s pretty straightforward. When I finally have a chance to sit down and do my edits, I begin to see patterns emerge, connecting several images, which I will use to create a photo collage, possibly including other materials as well, I may also realize the significance of a particular image. To combine it with others would only dilute its singularity.