Photography is a strange beast. An image can show so many things, sometimes even things that elude the eye of the photographer, and this accumulation of detail can trick us into thinking we're seeing the real world. What I want to do instead is show things the eye cannot see: a psychological state, a hint, a reverie. That is why my work tends to leave things out. I like to get rid of extraneous information, so that the eye can go immediately to the subject and be drawn into a mood or atmosphere.
Technique offers a way into this atmosphere, not as an end in itself, but as a means of expression, and plays out in an exploration of connections between painting and photography. Many of my pieces, for instance, are transfers on mirror or mother of pearl, giving the image a radiance that seems to come from within. For other images, I have preferred working with glass, gilt board, wax, and silk, often using techniques of my invention. Yet other images begin digitally and end with oil paint, bridging a six-hundred year gap between the origin of these media. Given these alternative-process techniques, most pieces are unique editions.
Leaving things out and spanning centuries of techniques, my work is, at heart, an enquiry into time. While a documentary-type image lets us ask questions about the period it's set in, I think of my images as existing outside time, without obvious markers, because they live in an inner space where accidents of dress and decor no longer matter. Longing, reflection, hope, passion, desire transcend the here and now. They are fleeting and eternal at the same time.
More on the portfolios:
The four galleries on this site are Landscapes, Cityscapes, Manscapes, and Other Escapes. Each gallery, in turn, opens up into six portfolios. The titles are generally self-explanatory, though a few might need clarification. Promeneur Solitaire (solitary walker) alludes to Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Rêveries du promeneur solitaire, a groundbreaking work of the late eighteenth century that redefined autobiography as a form of empathy, contemplation, and fusion with nature. I think a lot of my work is sympathetic to that reading. La Serenissima is the way Venetians historically referred to their “most serene” republic. Of course Venice is no longer a republic and was never serene, but in my images I have tried to capture an evanescence we associate with this special place. Dark Wood alludes to a phrase in Saul Bellow, “The soul of the other is a dark wood,” which as far as I can tell brings together a Russian proverb and a passage from Dante. Linger on this a while. I love the way the image evokes the unknowable other. Wanderers comes from the Greek word for planet, reflecting a belief in Antiquity that stars were fixed in their cycles but that planets were not. In a sense, we are all wanderers; the planets are a metaphor for humanity. The title Overcaffeinated does not refer to an inebriated state but, more simply, to the fact that all of the images are pictures of coffee. Strange Flora consists of images based on x-rays. The forms remind me of flowers, located inside our bodies; the similarity sets up a visual rhyme between what exists inside and out.
Feel free to write if you have any questions. I love hearing back from people.