Artist Statement

Legerdemain / the conjurer works his magic

From his seemingly normal surroundings the conjurer shows the audience a fantastic truth.  Is it reality or a sleight of hand? 
We live in an age where simplified fakery abounds in images that confront us daily. Digital programs can create alternative realities of the imagination. Life can be imagined so realistically as to not raise the warning call to safeguard against the perilous risk of obfuscating truth from fiction.  
I have no interest to slight reality or viewer, but to conjure through sleight of camera in hand an overlooked intersection of time and place. These are fractionalized sections. Not staged or manipulated, these images are fleeting instants that intersect at the moment of capture.
  	They are the truth of my perspective.



Stage Sets

	Employing color, design, lighting, props and architectural elements a stage set provides a setting in support of a narrative.  The environments that I’m shooting are real life sets and the denizens of these spaces provide the narrative. I look to capture life’s actors framed in the real life proscenium in which each of us plays a part.

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Magic Hour

	I have most recently been living part-time in rural northeastern Pennsylvania. A beautiful Wyeth landscape of rolling hills dotted with farms, water and fauna both wild and tame its beauty fills the senses. Every view offers pretty picture of bucolic life. Pretty pictures do not interest me.
	After a year of changing seasons and their varied permutations of light the environment sank into my being in a way that has enabled me to understand what it is I need to draw from these surroundings.
	The various symbolist landscapes and in particular the dark and moody seascapes of Albert Pinkham Ryder provided an initial inspiration. I first returned to shooting B&W film but was displeased with the resulting work. I found it impossible to make sense of the cacophony of detail resulting from branches, leaves, grasses and the myriad layers of shadow created in the bright light. The graphic simplicity that I admired in Ryder’s seascapes caused me to rethink my approach. 
	Shooting only during the “magic hour” I felt would eliminate shadow and the noise of an overly detailed image. Returning to a digital format I still thought to de-saturate the images to B&W but found this unnecessary as the soft light of magic hour compressed the tonal range into the moody dark tones I envisioned.
	One additional element of the pictures that I found troublesome, the horizon line, is the single element that most defines a landscape.  No matter if composed as two-thirds sky, one-third ground, the opposite proportion or straight through the middle, there was the ever-present, insistent horizon line cutting through the picture plane. I’m uncertain if it was thoughts of Ryder’s seascapes or the abundance of water in this part of Pennsylvania that drew me to start shooting at nearby ponds and lakes.
	I realized with my first look through the viewfinder that with a shift of camera view I could use the water to place the reflected end of day sky anywhere within the frame. I was no longer tied to the strict confines of the horizon line. I now felt my approach was more reflective of the precepts of abstract expressionism and the work of Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko
	I’ve since moved beyond just Pennsylvania having photographed in New York, Florida and North Carolina.

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Abstracts explores time through the construction of artifacts, cast-offs and or elements of past and present layering these artifacts into new connections. The subjects range from reflections on human time periods to time structures of the natural world, as well as a formal reimagining of art periods and influences.

I only partially consider this work photography. The work starts as assemblages, collages and or sculptures in relief. Objects are laid on the ground, assembled and viewed on the ground glass of a camera. I’ve chosen to photograph them as a way to hold them in permanence. Of course, I’m well aware of the photographic process and understand and consider how these assemblages will be transformed by a camera. I am sculpting and painting with dimensional artifacts, before a lens that are then transformed by light and camera.

What at first look is abstraction then reveals familiar components. Harvested raw materials developed for utilitarian purpose are repurposed into formal structures. These raw materials are sourced from the detritus of past decades and recent time. The collaging of materials, part from archeological dig, part raw materials have been reassembled into new meanings.  

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