Philosophy

We can’t truly unlearn the knowledge we’ve attained, but we can reinterpret it; we can’t un-see the things that we have seen, but we can reshape the context in which we remember.  Witnessing a powerful image is like having a seed planted in your consciousness; you can interact and cultivate its message if you so choose, but even if ignored, rejected, or forgotten, it will undoubtedly influence the shape and contents of its host container. It will become part of your awareness of the world, and change the nature of future perceptions. It is this intimacy and immediacy of the photographic medium that most lends itself to my artistic expression.

The brutality inherent in the act of “capturing” a subject is an often-overlooked aspect of photography. Even when the subject is sentient and willing, the act of taking a “shot”, and instantly imposing one’s own perceptions on subjects outside oneself, is in many senses an act of aggression. Even worse, the finished product results in a lie wrapped in the guise of truth. The illusion that ‘what is captured is true’, because the final photograph may be primarily composed of “real” things, is an illusion, the inherent asymmetry at the heart of the photographic process. As in most visual art, the choice of subject, composition, color, and tone, all reflect the artists intent; and specific to photography, timing, framing, and technical settings, and other fine adjustments, all work together to create a fixed presentation, and conspire to mislead the viewer into perceiving the artists perception as “reality” and the artists perspective as their own.

This tension between perception (mind) and seeing (organ), is a characteristic that underlies my ongoing work; attempting to deconstruct and illustrate discrimination, its causes, and its effects. Aesthetically, I explore this dynamic with a minimalist approach, trying to walk the line between shape (geometry), and form (perspective) via light and shadow, the most basic properties of photography, and the most fundamental expression of the illusion of duality. To compose an image of only essential elements, worthy of serious contemplation and study, one whose appearance shifts, whose meaning deepens and evolves over time, as one acquires new resources with which to engage it, this continues to be my aspiration.