I believe that art is a mediation between that which exists and that which is imagined. It is a swinging pendulum between reason and intuition, an act of expression that affirms our existence. Photography, with one foot rooted firmly in the phenomenal world and the other deeply planted in the world of grand illusion has proven to be the perfect vehicle for my narrative voice.
I believe that art, at its best, is an exposed earnest statement that challenges norms and inspires reflection. For me, much of the joy of making art is the attempt –– drip by drip –– to reveal the truth of the image. I’m not interested in creating work for which I already have the answer. I prize invention, the unexpected, and the uncommon, but above all else I love a good story, a story well told.
I believe in the power of stories. I am a storyteller.
“The Temple of Wonders” (the series)
I had polio as a child and developed epilepsy as an adult. Somewhere in between I suffered a cardiac death and traveled–––floated, really–– through a corridor of light only to joyfully reach my destination and be told the bad news, “ Go back. We’re not ready for you yet.” I use a machine to help me breathe when I sleep, my shoulders are held together with screws, my jaw is wired together in multiple places, I have a device implanted in my body to regulate my heart, and I recently had a hip removed and replaced with titanium, chromium, and polyethylene. Is this normal? Am I normal?
“The Temple of Wonders” asks: Who, or what, is normal?
Much like the circus sideshow my photographs acknowledge the physical embodiment of human anomaly and psychological aberration at its furthest edge. With their hyperbolic exaggerations, blends of the real with the artificial, and their promises of the impossible they seek to provide manifestations of absurd worlds at the extremes, clearly off the norm. As such, they represent a montage of the authentic and the invented, an assault on the senses that is perfectly suited for manipulations at the margins and, in particular, photographs of the body. And in this carefully crafted environment a body with its gold painted armor can survive almost anything. It’s only the psyche that’s at risk.
The physical wounds -–– the stitching, the stapling, the scars ––– are actually mine. The psychological pain belongs to us all.
Is this normal?