This portfolio documents the tension (and tradition) between full-body portraiture and my subjects' indigenous spaces. I use the term "indigenous" loosely as most of the subjects are photographed in their own neighborhoods, while a few are in spaces that have symbolic meaning to them alone.
The attempted balance between a photograph of a subject and how much of their surroundings should be included leads to a perceived dichotomy between two areas: competition for attention (example: the subject her/himself vs. graffiti on a wall), and a subtle revelation of clues to the subject's chosen community and environment. These images are an attempt at intimacy, a celebration of variation, an exploration of choice (locality, clothing), and a careful consideration of personal detail.
Heidi and Lily, Ohio (2014)
Robert and Barbara, Ohio (2015)
Patrice, Ohio (2015)
Clay, Ohio (2010)
Kacie Marie, Brooklyn (2013)
Michael and Brian, Atlanta (2009)
Ian, Ohio (2011)
Kristen and Geoffrey, Chicago (2013)
Heather, New York (2013)
Zak Smith, Brooklyn (2007)
Mother and Children, Brooklyn (2007)
Francine, New York (2009)
Jamila, Seattle (2013)
Lisa, Brooklyn (2009)
Monica, Seattle (2013)
Michele, Brooklyn, (2008)
Tony, Brooklyn (2008)
Mike, Brooklyn (2009)
Beau, Seattle (2013)
Geordie, Seattle (2013)
Kate, Brooklyn (2006)
Nicola, Brooklyn (2009)
Mrs. Lee, Brooklyn (2007)
These are images of the in-between places in a political battleground state. Sometimes, according to what media outlet to which you are referring, the battleground.
In Ohio, outmoded Christian ideologies continue to clash with evolving liberal causes. Friction is evident between proponents of bigger and smaller government and between socio-economic classes. All the while, the omnipresent capitalist mantra of supply and demand drones on.
The small battles of others are what concern me here, and the marks left behind by those offering a voice. A sign that calls for people to vote. A sign calling for us to have faith. A sign asking us to “Watch TV Everywhere.”
The sign is a term used in semiotics study as a visual index that denotes meaning. A rose, for instance, denotes love. A horse could represent speed or strength. But an airplane with a “For Sale” sign in someone’s front yard? Perhaps this is something more complex.
Actual, physical signs with text, the kinds of signs built into the landscape that call our attention, that distract us from the ubiquity of cornfields or endless rows of soybeans, these signs are signifiers of underlying voices. Some suggest the government has left it behind, while poverty slowly inches up, and hope often seems diminished.
A sign, literal or figurative, can point to deeper ideas: the collective unconscious of a particular demographic, and an intense longing to be heard and seen. Battleground documents the Ohio landscape in an uncomfortable state of transition; one mixed with both unabashed hope and questionable certainties.
The result of travel between 1998 and 2003, these images were captured with a 35mm camera and are printed very small (2"x3") on 11x14 fiber base paper. The resulting negative space of the paper emphasizes the stark minimalism of the ratios between land and sky, as well as the intended meditative qualities of the international locations.
New York, September 08, 2001
New York, September 8, 2002
Dubai, Burj Al Arab Hotel, 2001
Virginia, Forest Fire, 1999
New Hartford, 1998
Named after the burial place of Henri Cartier-Bresson, an ongoing travel series of 35mm images printed full-frame on silver gelatin papers.
Grand Rapids, Ohio, 2014
New York, 2014
New York, 2014
Yellow Springs, Ohio, 2014
New York, 2002
New York, 2005
Booksellers, Istanbul, 2001
Exhibition and Publication
2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution