At the end of 2015 I had a portfolio review where I was told I wasn’t a serious artist whose work isn’t cohesive enough and who wasn’t the type that would be given a show in NYC. I spent the entire next year doing my best to prove that theory wrong while discovering parts of my creativity I didn’t know existed. I came up with a layered series that spoke to many different emotions through symbolism and visual cues. I worked really hard, physically, to build sets and to create viscerally. I wanted to do something different and unexpected.
That show opened on January 5th in New York City, my first solo show in this amazing art market. It marked a moment in my career that I didn’t see coming but longed for. I know that status and prestige isn’t what I’m after, but it felt good to work toward a goal and see it come to fruition.
The show is titled “Fourth Wall”, based on the film theory that catches a movie breaking the barrier between viewer and creator. This can happen when an actor looks at the camera or speaks directly to the viewer, or in many other ways. In my case, while no eye contact was made, I wanted my viewers to voyueristically peer into the lives of others. Fourth wall has dual meaning here, also pointing to the four walls, with no windows and doors, that features in each image.
I shot each image through a different Kodak Duaflex II camera so that the texture on each one was natural from a different lens, symbolizing the different psyche we were looking into. Each room represents the inner-workings of the person inside: what we feel we cannot share. What we keep inside.
The project was hands-on, much more so than any previous works. For the image with yarn I spent 60+ hours laying the yarn down on the floor line by line, and even asked the model to sew under the top layer of her skin to mimic the pattern on the floor. For another, I obtained 800lbs of sand, 100lbs of which was from sand dunes 5 hours from my home so that it would look better but also be symbolic of real time passing on the dunes. For the final image I photographed, myself and a small team disassembled the entire room and re-built it outside in a swimming pool to create the underwater effect.
Those are some examples of how I wanted to work in camera. These images have far, far less post production than my previous works, mostly using Photoshop to straighten lines and enhance colors.
From feeling trapped in your own skin to giving so much to others that you have no blood left for yourself, these images are a look at what we don’t tell people. They are a glimpse into the world of someone else who feels just as trapped and alone at times as we all do. Particularly in an age when we are more connected than ever, we find ourselves disconnected in the ways that give us heart and spirit.
Very limited editions. Each print is offered at 42×42 inches with an edition of 2, and 8×8 inches with an edition of 3.
I will be sharing more in depth posts on each image in the coming weeks, but for now, here are all of the images together.