Typically, a photograph is visual evidence of an event that occurred at a moment in time. In other words, photography represents what someone saw. I am a photographer in this sense, but its the beginning of the process for my artwork. When I compose an image in the camera I see what’s in the viewfinder, but I also visualize how that image could be placed in relationship to other images in order to express ideas in a poetic way.
My work is fundamentally about using light impressions to poetically express ideas. Yet, I am interested in using more than what the camera, as a tool, can offer to create images. Light is the most important tool and the camera allows me to shape and form the light. But box cutters and X-acto knives are just as important. These tools allow me to, by hand, reconfigure and juxtapose images as the elements of a visual language. Manipulating images and their proximity to one another in a composition can create something more than the sum of its parts.
Hand craftsmanship is at the center of my process. I naturally solve the artistic problem of bringing to an idea to form by using my hands. I need to touch, sculpt, and compose physical photographic negatives and other materials into a final composite image.
There can be a digital component to my process. I may start with a digital capture and print a large format negative from the file. I may also scan the final composition to get a digital image. But none of my images are composed or composites made in Photoshop. The photoshop image will never, as Misha Gordin points out, “have the imperfections that makes it alive.” There is evidence of the human touch in the creative process of the crafted image. For my photography, that touch is the crucial element of the composition that gives life to the ideas I intend to express.