Guilty Pleasures locates our need to find solace and pursue happiness. Guilty not as a form of personal judgement but in terms of the narcissistic human need to seek personal comfort. Winter presents an unwelcoming world outside, pushing us towards a bleak confinement. We go inward in our lives, psyches and homes in order to console ourselves. This project was photographed in Syracuse NY during a nearly record-breaking winter of snow fall. Being inside can build a manic state with the snow accumulating outside. A hermetic wold of friends serves as a self portrait and a document of winter.
I endured an uncelebrated winter: half buried in wall-to-wall, kneeling under ceilings within reach. These images are moments from my orbit through the slowest days and coldest nights, surrounding myself with what matters most.
A frozen Christmas tree in exile, the hum of a cycling mug being radiated, a midnight date with Taco Bell in my ’98 Corolla, my beloved refugee in a temporary bed, and a new family finds its beginning.
I’ve documented this anti-fantasy, and I’m almost done.
I was asked to create work for a group show titled 99 Days at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA, that borrowed from the motifs and language of my project Guilty Pleasures. All participating photographers were asked to use the 2012 presidential election as the prompt to express our individual thoughts about America leading up to November 6th.
My reaction was to navigate Philadelphia, examining urban artifacts that spoke metaphorically about current, divisive political issues and address them in a billboard-style: flattened and with an aggressive tone. I began recognizing my thoughts in the outside world, emotions represented by objects in the city’s geography. What came out was more of a mood; in search of loneliness. I was guided by a strange magnetism; towards evidence of what were once sacred. My walks felt primitive, like an animal recognizing it’s path back home.
In the world I see: the traditional nuclear family is extinct, nature is unavoidable, and generations of solitude and warmth have been buried in the same, overlooked hole.
Mike is a competitive, natural bodybuilder in his mid-fifties and goes by the name Broc Man. Strength and ambition are just two of his many attributes. However, Mike has an even greater power to risk being vulnerable. He is striving towards the impossible while indirectly redefining cultural expectations of the “middle-aged.” When I look at the image I made of him, I pretend I’m looking into a mirror: my hard work is recognized, and I will never give up on my dreams.
The photograph captures Mike’s physique, power, and willingness to be exposed. The image of Mike represents individualism, freedom and the idea that we should pursue our dreams relentlessly. The pins are metal versions of the image: Mike’s silhouette in both cast bronze and sterling silver. These materials have traditionally represented memorial, prestige, and preciousness in the form of sculpture, metals of honor, and tokens of commitment. The video was made during my photoshoot by Mike’s brother Len Knee. (Video can be seen with this link) This piece is a wonderful gift, as it documents Mike’s performance and the interaction between artist and subject. The tee shirts are souvenirs of the print in an effort to create “merch” which will bring my work outside of the gallery space.
|Getting more posts...|