With this series I am transforming contemporary buildings into fantastical power structures. I omit the horizon line and many details to obscure scale, and use available light from a particular time of day to heighten mystery. I am drawn to facades that are non-descript, are light in tone and have very few or no windows. The removal of context helps me to imagine what the buildings may be instead of being mired in what they are.
I am both fascinated and unsettled by the transformed structures. Who built them? What is their purpose? What happens behind the blank walls? I am drawn to the sense of power that these emit and though them I feel a connection to ancient monuments that were important to ritual and memorialization. However, I am also intrigued that most of the ideal locations host stores, cars and entertainment, which some may argue are our modern day devotions.
In the song (Nothing But) Flowers, David Byrne sings about the end of the world as he knows it; nature has taken over and there are no more cars, highways or fast food restaurants. I was working a few blocks from the White House during the attacks on 9/11/01, and as I walked home I witnessed smoke rising from the Pentagon. Since then, catastrophes such as Katrina, economic collapse, torture, war, the Haiti earthquake, the Japanese tsunami and news of widespread rape have left me in a state of perpetual anxiety.
In this ongoing body of work entitled Nothing But I am photographing to help process traumatic events that are not only constantly unfolding, but also completely out of my control. These images are a way to deal with feelings of distress, outrage, frustration and helplessness generated by human malevolence and by the tragic consequences of natural disasters.
In this series, I am investigating the idea of the portal-areas of light that are intentionally ambiguous. They may be places in which to reflect or perhaps pathways to unknown and unseen possibilities. I am also interested in the idea of illusion through the implied dimensionality of the created area of light: that it could be possible to physically, mentally or emotionally travel in or through this space.
This group of images is an excerpt from a body of work combining the freedom of driving with the exploration of space, light and color, and the resulting emotional landscapes as they pertain to the state of mind while photographing. This series reflects not only the literal transition between day and night, but also straddles the real and unreal in imagery that suggests the time when one contemplates the past and present but anticipates the possibilities of an unknown future.
While others turn to therapy, I turn to photography. It confers solitude and time to linger on particular thoughts or emotions. When I shoot, I am alone and in the dark. It is then that I am at my most vulnerable and most emotional and this allows for the spontaneous creation of images and ideas. This isolated, mesmerizing endeavor is cathartic and working like this gives me a chance to escape from the present and reflect about the past.
The past and memories are the basis for this body of work. As I was growing up, whenever my sister or I angered my mom, she used to tell us that “Someday you’re going to have a rude awakening”. The first big ”awakening” was her death. These images explore feelings and memories evoked from that event, and subsequent awakenings in my life.