Our preoccupation with our portable devices. What in the world did we do without them? Smoked, read books, magazines, and newspapers. Looked out the window or at the world. Held hands?
Sufferers from the neurological disease Alexia-typically brought on in adulthood-experience an immediate, and almost always permanent inability to understand their native written language. My work often suggests a tension between the written word and the image, language and sensation. Alexia's Lament is an ongoing project.
The Structure of Everyday Life
My photographs are found within everyday circumstances. I roam, responding intuitively to enigmatic events, juxtapositions, the play of light. I am attracted to boundaries; the spaces between the obvious and the mysterious, between saying and showing, between the photographer and the subject. Are these boundaries penetrable?
I prefer black and white film, simple cameras, and the traditional darkroom to produce my personal work. The virtual nature of digital photography, its lack of tangibility, “processing” via computer is too cold. I prefer grain as an embedded component of my images. It represents substance.
Growing up as I did in a professional watercolorist’s home, I was surrounded by the simplest of tools; pigments, brushes, paper, and water, and how a few brush strokes can speak volumes. I learned early to respect tools and master the hand.
What am I looking for? I’ll show you when I find it, but within the obvious and everyday I am hoping to create visually delightful images that suggest mystery and prompt more questions than provide answers.
My Holga camera work falls within an ongoing project entitled The Structure of Everyday Life.
Eleven Plus One
Mermaids Please Enter
Billboard. North End, Boston
Halloween in Salem
After the Show
View of Rings Island
Pink, Yellow, Blue
Feast Day, North End
Staten Island's Richmond Terrace runs parallel to the Kill Van Kull waterway, from the NY Ferry Terminal to Howland Hook. A mismash of gas stations, dry docks, storefront pentacostal and red brick catholic churches, bodegas, package stores, and small auto repair shops rub shoulders ungently. Chain link connects and separates everything.
A few years ago I started a project, "Iron Things" I called it, the title from a line in the Mary Oliver poem The Leaf and the Cloud. I had recently buried my father and "emptied the closets" of the house I grew up in and sold it. My sisters and I each kept what we wanted, locked the door, and left. These are a few of the objects I kept: a packet of hair pins my father saved that were his mother's, my grandfather's oil stained shop coat with a few matchbooks in the left pocket, a miniature Swedish book of Psalms. There is something like deep memory embedded in these, but memory not mine. What memories I do have are of a stern grandmother, and the tool and machine filled wonderland of my grandfather's automotive shop in Essex Connecticut, where time seemed to have stopped when he died. I never knew him, but I think I know the hole his death carved into my father's heart. Now I carry these memory weighted items my father held on to, and other objects from my childhood home.
This was his life.
I bury it in the earth.
I sweep the closets.
I leave the house.
I mention them now,
I will not mention them again.
It is not lack of love
Nor lack of sorrow.
But the iron thing they carried, I will not carry.
I give them-one, two, three, four-the kiss of courtesy,
Of sweet thanks,
Of anger, of good luck in the deep earth, May they sleep well. May they soften.
But I will not give them the kiss of complicity.
I will not give them the responsibility for my life.
Uniform and Gown
Parade Dress Gloves
Ranuculus, South Hamilton
Franson's Garage Shop Coat
Out the car window, in a subway, flying, by ferry, on foot. Going from here to there. Photographs along the way.
A Nickel and a Kopek
A fathers personal observation of two brothers, the younger an adopted son from St. Petersburg, Russia at age four.
A christian theme park in the 60s. Now just a lit cross on a hill, a strange and disquieting place littered with lost-looking animal castings, little broken buildings, two headless angels, and non-referential signs. Holyland USA is a place, but it is also an ever-present idea in american culture.
Dogtown Common, located in Gloucester Massachusetts, is a five square mile boulder strewn area noted as one of the best examples of a glacial moraine. The deserted area, though populated in the 1700s, was purchased from the city in the early 20th century by the wealthy, philanthropic, and somewhat eccentric Roger Babson. During the Depression Roger initiated a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project for unemployed stone masons to create a 'stone book' by chiseling twenty-three of his favorite words and phrases onto massive boulders. Since then the open field has been replaced by a mature forest and the stone tablets compete with the undergrowth.