For the work I’ve made since 2012 I spent intimate time photographing older men in New York City to learn how to seduce, to age gracefully, to learn about the past. The impact of the education I received in matters of art, lust, and aging, outweighed anything I’ve experienced before or since and has characterized much of my adult life.
OK, well, my photographs are not “morbid.” Morbid means unhealthy and deformed. I photograph social outcasts because I want to celebrate their singularity and the strength it takes for them to engage life. An example is a photograph called “Un Santo Oscuro,” a man born in Canada because his mother took thalidomide, which was banned in the United States under the Kennedy administration.
My self-portraits are a projection of my inner voice. What may seem abstract to the viewer is to me a language rooted in symbolism and allegory. I am photographing my dream self.
First, it was really shocking, and I knew I needed to just chill out, be calm, and not seem nervous. The other thing that happened dawned on me later; I think I felt it immediately, and I just didn't know that I felt it. My dad was an addict when I was a kid, and I had been in lots of places like this. I’m pretty sure that I never saw people using in front of me, but I was around that type of adult for sure as a child.
I did research looking through human rights reports. Some of the strikes are repetitive, but some strikes are much more telling and have personal details that humanize it. Residential homes, religious schools, wedding convoy or a funeral being hit bugged me. There have been hundreds of these strikes and I picked out ones that have a human hook to them.
It's all about skin. I use whatever materials and methods I need to in order to explore the experience and ideas of skin and the body.
The Photography Master Retreat, fourth edition, will be held July 7-14, 2018 for a select group of fourteen participants, chosen by the mentors from submitted applications. Priority consideration and our Early Bird Special ends December 10, 2017.
During my time living in Jerusalem I decided to make work exclusively in the West Bank, I made a number of works using photography, painting, sculpture and process biased art, and one work seemed to lead to the next. One day while out in the South Hebron Hills visiting a tribe of Bedouin who live in caves, I came across the landfill site in this work. I returned a number of times to view the location and eventually decided to make work there.
My notebooks are filled with ideas for new works. One or two will surface as I scan them from time to time. Sometimes an idea appears in my notebooks several times over the years in slightly different forms, until the work is finally ready to be created.
When you are the child of a junk man, especially when you are not going into the family junkyard business, there's something I want to escape about that. Because of the painful thing my family and I had to endure, but also because it's not the life I wanted. So my obsession with escapist locations and photographs investigating our needs to escape, certainly come from a childhood need.
In general, I tend to look more and more into the little things of life. Particularly with photography, I try to find the essence in a very reduced form. Reduced to the max. The flood of images today just frightens me. As I mentioned in the introduction, we have to ensure our existence all our life by buying, accumulating, hoarding things that are then left behind when we die.
I came to those structures through a very chaotic approach. I spent two summers photographing locusts, or grasshopper swarms in Utah, Nevada. I was very interested in the history of the Rocky Mountain locusts, which were the largest conglomeration of terrestrial animals that the earth has ever witnessed.