The images in this portfolio are the culmination of one conversation I have been having with myself for thirty years. As a young man, I studied art beginning as a black and white photographer. I regarded my cameras, chemicals, and film as brushes and the world before my lens as a paint box. I showed my work with some success, but was frustrated by the tendency of many viewers to regard my pictures primarily as documents–truthful depictions of specific moments in time in specific places in the world.
The view that photography can only be a direct representation of fragments of the world is narrowing. It truncates the possible and diminishes both the photographer’s choices and omissions. It irrevocably ties the image to an external narrative. It causes the viewer to value photographs only as answers to the basic journalistic questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. I expect more of my images. I expect them to be sufficient unto themselves, released from the limiting tyranny of narrative, and worthy in their own right. I removed myself from the world of traditional exhibitions and began to use my skills commercially, steadily honing my craft, making pictures that explored elements of my aesthetic inquiries. For several decades I have worked as a technician for other designers and artists, actualizing their images as they wished them to be. That work carried me across the bridge from silver-based to digital image making. By using traditional black and white, color negative and transparency films, exotic and antique photographic methods, and reproducing digital images for a great range of applications and customers, I practiced visual scales.
I built forward from analog photography into a digital workspace, mastering the tools available to me. I confirmed the sense that each image is a suite of
minute choices in which capturing devices, the natural referents they rely upon, the marriage of technical and aesthetic concerns, and printing materials and systems conjoin to create something that has the possibility of being independent; something from the world, but not about only the world.
The Manifestation portfolio is framed by a unifying visual concept. Each image within the set is intended to be whole in and of itself.
This body of work began with the choice to gather light from the lily pond in my backyard. That light is the raw material from which I began to forge these images. I have used my craft to wrangle the improvisational content of each image into the sensibility of the whole. I have cut the cord. The only narrative that remains is what you see before you: a time and place that has never been.