My upbringing in an industrial city (Providence, RI) and career as a firefighter have had a great impact on how I value and perceive my surroundings. My work looks at the archeology of mark making, history, and the detritus of contemporary civilization. It centers around the spectacles that manifest when human made objects and materials transform as a result of time, action, and forces of nature. Sometimes apocalyptic and sometimes optimistic, these images reflect the mood and state of the environment they are taken from.
With photography, the human brain often wants to know the subject in a photograph. My artistic intent is not to document or tell a story of my subjects. Instead, it is to distill the converging factors of action, time, nature and material transformation, into an image that contains the rich history and energy of the original subject, but that stands unbound from practical understanding of its origin.
The Unintentional Spectacles exhibit involves two long term, ongoing studies (Bridge City Diary, One Eighty Compulsion).
Bridge City Diary
A seven-year ongoing study, Bridge City Diary examines Portland’s street utility poles. These poles serve as sounding boards for community to advertise bands, art gatherings, and laborer services. They’ve been utilized to advocate for affordable housing and equity. They absorb the forces of nature and the physical expressions of Portland’s population-scribbling, ripping, torching, spitting, etc. In addition, efforts to “clean up” the utility poles often add to the constant change and tension of these communal canvases.
One Eighty Compulsion
A “One Eighty” is a term used in skateboarding where you spin on a skateboard one hundred and eighty degrees. As a teenager, I obsessively practiced “one eighties”, three sixties and many other skateboard maneuvers. Although I am no longer a skater, I’m still drawn to skateboarding environments. These locations give space for physical expression, communal support, and in my eyes, a type of meditation.
In this five-year ongoing study of skateparks in Oregon, I redirect my own passion for skateboarding. I examine it not from the deck of a skateboard but from the perspective beneath the wheels. These photographs focus on one-two inch surface areas. They portray complex patterns, generated through the actions of skaters in their pursuit of adrenalin, satisfaction, and release. These discrete manifestations are artifacts of the tension, action, and passion that is infused in the paint-covered concrete when it meets with the impulses, energy, and force of the skaters.