Here are the links for the three short slide shows I created for an evening with Chris Vitiello at The Casbah. Had to miss it myself, but the event got me to focus on making two new pieces and reworking a third. Nothing like a deadline.
One at a time, with some text for each and an introduction:
Obsessive photo taking.
I see the world as multi faceted. I think it's partly on account of never being quite sure of what I think. I have very few strong opinions; I can see it this way, and that. It is here I begin to find my desire to work in a multi-framed world, a composite world.
The image I consider to be the one where I begin my artist's journey is one that has many views; it's an image of my father as a young boy, and my grandparents, with landscapes running in and out of figures, vines winding their way into indoor spaces, limbs of trees crossing time and space, both virtually, within the picture, and actually, across the metal plate. That initial image takes as its subject the passing of time. It is, in the end, part of what haunts and sustains me in my work, this manifestation of passing time, both within a single picture plane and in and of itself, i.e., actually having time pass while looking. The use of multiple images within one lends itself very nicely to the act of obsessive photo taking. I'm very often thinking of composites, groups of photos in a single composition as opposed to the one decisive moment/image or the grouping across minutes of many images, as you will experience this evening.
Heredity also plays a part. My father was a documenter; slides, photos, home movies, and, much to my sister's and my delight and startled sense of family history and longing for our father who had died 30 years earlier while going through everything in our childhood home, reel to reel tapes. It seems this constant documentation of family is part of my inheritance.
Another aspect to my obsessive photo taking has to do with, I believe, coming to photography later in life. I started out as a printmaker in college and for the year after. I was soon feeling the desire to paint, to create in a more immediate medium - no more of the very complicated process of covering a metal plate with an acid resist liquid which dries and then scraping through the acid resist with a sharp tool, placing the plate in an acid bath, the acid eating through the metal in the places that have been exposed, washing off the acid resist, inking the surface of the plate and rubbing it into the grooves, wiping off the surface, and finally putting the plate through a high pressure printing press together with a sheet of moistened paper. I was done with that; I wanted to paint. And I did, for 20 years. It was only when we moved here 16 years ago that I started using a camera full time. I was already in my 40's, and had the feeling that in some way I had to "catch up", I had to take my first 10,000 photos which would be my worst (according to Cartier-Bresson).
A cross section of humanity passing in front of B & H Photo in NYC, bookended by my family. Music: Caprice, from "Solfeggieti" by Allen Anderson; Aleck Karis, piano.