Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Artist Statement for the DAUGHTERS Series

Sex drives consumption.  It sells everything from dolls to drugs.  The media’s portrayal of the glory experienced by the physically elite inundates us daily, enticing us to buy more things in hopes that we will then ourselves be able to embody sex.  Its idolization permeates our society so thoroughly, that from the moment a girl holds her first Barbie, she begins measuring herself against an unattainable physical appearance.   By the time a girl becomes a young woman, her identity has become so intertwined with the struggle to visually imitate impossible standards, that the fragility of her ego manifests as a desire to then seek validation from external sources.  Because they cannot live up to the proliferated Adonis-like representation of the female form, a feeling of inferiority makes them easily suede to employ other means to prove their sexual prowess, and in turn as they envision, their self-worth.  Popular culture insinuates that promiscuity, assigns a woman value.  As young women try to imitate these behaviors in hopes of establishing a sense of worth, the true emotional consequences of such only serve to confuse them further.

Examining and showcasing the byproducts of this destructive, cyclical, cultural phenomena create the axle around which my work revolves.  Daughters is a series that invites its viewers to begin to personalize the emotional gravity associated with the current position in which the represented female has found herself.  Employing the very same mechanism as pop culture, the larger scale work often displays attractive female nudes.  However, as the viewer takes a closer look, the truth is in the details and they are asked to consider how they would feel if the woman gazing back at them were a loved one.




Sunday, June 1, 2014

LA VERDAD and the Selfie Phenomenon

The self-portrait is not revolutionary subject matter.  In fact, artists have been using it for centuries as a very common genesis for a work of art. 


But why?  Is the artist a narcissist, or in some cases, masochist?  Perhaps they just want a better look at their own faces; or the model didn’t show up... Personally, i can only ever wear the skin i’m in, so i can really only speak for myself.  Physical manifestation, no doubt, limits perspective.  But therein lies the attraction and the necessity for creating the self-portrait in the first place:  To establish a baseline.

Looking back at all the self-portraits i have created thus farr, i have discovered that hindsight is always 20/20, and if i could've known then what i've learned now... La verdad, the truth, is this: 
Life is the most beautiful, fulfilling and rewarding when we seek to serve our highest purpose. When we let everything else fall away, all the self-doubt and all the noise, this is what we have left... The truth.

This is a detail shot of a myriad of things i included in this piece.  The stars were created from crushed mirror glass.  I like the idea of including reflective surfaces because once you look at the piece,  you become part of it, you are reflected in it even if you take note or not. You may not be able to identify physically with the depicted figure, or the situation.... But we can all identify with our own reflection and the story of the human condition.

This detail shows the strip of color peaking out from the camera lens.  It was cut from an icc profile i'd printed, but placed here, it becomes the digitized representation of the light entering the camera.  The light is transformed into a simplified version of reality and what i was trying to understand... Somehow the message got lost in translation.

This is the original photograph i shot on Jan. 19, 2007.  I was staying at the Hyatt on the Sunset Strip, visiting LA for a couple shoots... Like many before me, those of us who are drawn to image making, inevitably end up with nude self-portraits... The reasoning i've deduced is because when you are nude you are completely vulnerable both physically and, more importantly, emotionally. Everything that we put on, every facade we hide behind, every story we tell, is all stripped away. Every insecurity is exposed... What's left is just a body; the vessel that holds the soul for the brief period we're conscious here... The flesh and bone into which each of us has been poured.  It is what separates us from the whole and causes us to forget that we are all actually part of something much bigger... we are all part of each other. La Verdad.