It isn’t often I write formal things about my photographs that I like. Generally speaking, I’m opposed to what we teach in Art Schools, when we talk about “artist statements.”
The other day, however, I submitted some materials for an artists residency program in East Iceland, and actually like what I wrote. Along with my CV and other materials, I sent examples from two different bodies of work, Pieces of My Solitude and Under the Milky Way. Here’s what I wrote about these works:
The work samples included here are from two different bodies of work. The earlier of the two collections, Pieces of My Solitude, was made while working as an artist-in-residence at La Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris during the spring and summer of 2007. The second series, Under the Milky, is my most recent series of work. These pictures have all been made during the last two years, and have all been made in and around my home in Ithaca, NY.
The pictures in Pieces of My Solitude were originally inspired by a poem by John Berryman, Dream Song #1:
Huffy Henry hid the day,/unappeasable Henry sulked./I see his point,—a trying to put things over./It was the thought that they thought/they could do it made Henry wicked & away./But he should have come out and talked.
All the world like a woolen lover/once did seem on Henry’s side./Then came a departure./Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought./I don’t see how Henry, pried/open for all the world to see, survived./What he has now to say is a long/wonder the world can bear & be./Once in a sycamore I was glad/all at the top, and I sang.
Hard on the land wears the strong sea/and empty grows every bed.
Working in Paris, I spent fourth months living alone, and with these photographs attempted to illustrate the introspection and personal conflicts I found, as I struggled with my own creativity, desire, and understanding.
In the more recent series, Under the Milky Way, I photograph close to home, concentrating on my family and domestic life. With these pictures, I hope to illustrate a similar process, as I continue to grow into my new life as a father and husband, and the struggle and reflections inherent within it.
All of the photographs in both of these series are unique silver gelatin prints, each toned with various combination of gold, selenium, and tea. I choose to use traditional black and white processes to better reflect a sense of time that stands still. I hope these pictures describe an inherent and timeless sense of personal reflection.