Statement of Work
During a trip to Holland, I visited and photographed the gardens of Keukenhof. It is a 6 week bloom of 7 million tulips and varieties of flowers over 79 acres. The photos sat on my hard drive for several months. During that time, I read Josef Alber’s Interactions of Color. This book has had a profound influence on my photography. The idea of color, what is color, how color influences what we see, how it makes us feel, how various combinations result in completely different emotional connections - all these questions impacted my photography and how I processed what I had photographed.
I originally applied these questions to the moon, with a series of photographs I had taken with a high powered telescope. How does color combinations of a subject that we are so familiar with on a daily basis? Does our preconceived notions change based on color of the moon and space? After exploring these concepts with the lunar photographs, I applied them to the flowers of Keukenhof.
While flowers have always been a common subject throughout art history, how can the colors from nature be manipulated to change the context and connection? Think of the emotional differences between a Mapplethorpe and a Warhol - this was my goal - to be able to change one’s view and emotion of nature’s beauty by using the “interaction of colors” on one of the world’s grandest gardens.
Concert Tickets: A Personal Musical Archive 1978 – 1995:
In an age of downloading tickets and tracks, the acts of purchasing and experiencing music are becoming increasingly intangible. Thus, I created a series of work that resulted and recalled some of the more tactile rituals that once helped define the rock concert experience.
“A Personal Music Archive 1978–1994” combines aspects of my successful career in the music industry (I have run music labels and worked with the Smashing Pumpkins, Moby, the White Stripes, and many other top acts) with my passion for photography, but not in the way you might think. Over the years people kept asking me to take pictures of bands and concerts but that was never of any interest to me.
Instead, I found inspiration in a shoe box filled with ticket stubs of every concert I had attended since 1978. I decided I could tell a story through these ticket stubs. I began scanning and enlarging the stubs, finding beauty in the old designs, unique fonts, and band logos. I realized each ticket served as a symbol of the entire concert experience.
My collection includes stubs from the very first concerts I attended as a young music fan while I was working in a Kansas City record store. Back then I would save the ticket as a souvenir and buy a concert shirt and then wear the shirt the next day to show everyone I was there. Now, there’s rarely a ticket at all. Concert attendees have their ticket scanned on the phone; photos and selfies are posted to social media to show friends they are there. The once tangible experience has become intangible.
My process for creating artwork from the stubs involves high-resolution scans, which I tweak in Photoshop to highlight the feel of age in the preserved ticket. The scans are then printed on cold-pressed cotton rag paper. The remarkably three-dimensional result conveys the same wonderful sentimentality evoked by the verses of a well-loved song.
The end result is a story of growing up, as told through the ticket stubs. My journey could be and is a lot of people’s journey. And in an ironic way, the old school tickets find life in the way modern technology is used to produce the work, yet it is this very technology that has made the tickets obsolete.
When I created this series, I was heavily influenced by the Sugimoto seascape portfolio. When one sees the beauty of the oceans, it is always from the point of view from the beach. There is either calmness, as in Sugimoto’s work, or the violence of the waves, as in Clifford Ross’s Hurricane series. In my work, when I would go into the waves, I would let nature dictate the picture and I would only control the point of view.
One of the challenges as a photographer is to try to see differently and how can you change one’s perspective. It is hard to find a new view of a beach or ocean scene, but once I got in the water and let the waves crash over me, I found what I was looking for. The creative results of the waves, the sky and the beach in the distance can be seen in the Waves portfolio. Nature has a unique ability to give you what you have been seeking as long as you are patient.
Photos From Airports:
I have always been fascinated with travel and flight. There is something about the magnificence of how a plane can get off the ground, the idea of movement – the emotions of travel – happiness for a vacation, sadness of leaving home for work, the effort required – it is all encompassing emotionally. Like the waves series, I have been working on how to capture these emotions attached to airplanes with a unique point of view.
The title is inspired by Brian Eno’s series of ambient records he made in the late 1970s, with one of my favorites called “Music For Airports.” What he did with the audio for airports, I am attempting to do visually for airplanes.
Persexption of Realism:
This is the most complicated series I have created. I received approval to use the film archive of a pornographic studio. With the films, I would find a specific image in a scene and then appropriate it into a photograph that retains little of the original intent of the scene. I create a sexual tension with a sense of beauty and fantasy out of what was an original scene, usually involving bondage and S&M.
The paradox of the photo is based in the notion that with the internet, all forms of fantasy are at your finger tips. With the access of immediate porn and the mainstream acceptance of the concept of bondage, my challenge was how I could incorporate the two ideas into a new photograph that gives it a feeling of other worldliness.
I want the viewer to find beauty in darkness, exploring the darkness with the surreal.
I began this series as just working on photographing the moon through a telescope in the summer out on Long Island. I had no idea or intention of creating a body of work out of the photos: however, at the same time, I was reading Joseph Albers Interaction of Color. The book inspired me to experiment with the moon photographs in duotone colors and examine how it changes the viewer’s connection to the moon.
By using an image that we are all so familiar with (for me, an image of wonder) and then experimenting with various color schemes, one’s connection goes through various emotions. Feelings of beauty and warmth to the feeling of cold and darkness can all be created with just color scheme applied to the moon. And then, based on the size of the moon, sliver/half/full, adds another dimension to the emotions.