Observations- Statement and Process

Statement:  I grew up in Maine-small town America complete with Mom and Pop stores and restaurants. In 2001, I moved to Orlando, Florida. I was immediately struck by the sense of commercialism there, in particular the juxtaposition of cow fields with large one-stop shopping chains such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. The dissonant commercial confluence of products, lighting and spaces in these big box confabulations became the spark that ignited the development of my work.

From my earliest childhood I have needed to convert the visible world into patterns and symbols as an alternative to text. At age four, I underwent a series of surgical interventions in order for me to be able to hear the world around me properly. Prior to these surgeries, it was extremely difficult for me to communicate to the world through traditional methods. I never learned to read properly as a result. I had to rely upon an intricate way of communicating and understanding the world visual. For years, this functioned as a survival technique, but now I have come to realize this need of mine to see the world in patterns and symbols has evolved into an integral part of my aesthetic approach.

I have found that photography to be a great opportunity through which I can express myself. When I go out to document these real spaces I aim to address the tension between documentation and aesthetic construction in order to rethink the way we perceive the world through the photographic medium. For me, photographic subversion of these highly determined sites into indeterminate images of colors, forms and shapes that are devoid of clear information lead to what possibly might be a new aesthetic and perhaps even a new understanding.

Process: For the series Observations and Triptychs I photograph in mass market locations such as Wal-Mart and Target. I enter the large locations and notice the smallest details of beauty. I seek out the silent and beautiful spots and document them. I do this to bring attention to them and show the rest of the world what they miss in their hurry to get their items and get out.

After I am done shooting I take the film to be developed in the same locations I have shot in. These stores are not the most careful in developing film, usually because they are also in a hurry. Sometimes there are scratches even holes in the film not noticeable in a 4X5 but when blown up to 30X40 they really show. Further enhancing the dialogue of rushing, missing out on the beauty of life.

I print these images leaving in all flaws from the developing. If I must print them digitally I do not utilize photoshop to distort or modify the images.  I also do not enhance the colors in any way. I try to stay as true to the original item as possible.