|Artist Bio +|
Photography is unique among all art forms. If you draw, paint, or sculpt, everyone knows that the artist's hand is involved. You decided where things ought to go, and what colour. Maybe you painted something exactly how it was ... but you still didn't paint it in the exact moment it happened, and you still made a decision of which colours of paint would most accurately reflect the scene before you.
In other words, you decided how that image ought to look. And everyone knows it. Not so, for photography.
If you give an artist, a graphic designer, and scientist the same camera and point them at the same subject, you get three different photographs. All the photos are simultaneously honest and dishonest; the public accepts that all of these images show they subject as it really existed, but they are all guilty of the lie of omission. All of the images show a single facet, and claim that is all there is to show.
And that's before we even consider captions. Almost every major news organization has been criticized for reusing, re-captioning, or even flat-out lying about images, particularly when it comes to war photography. Blood or smoke is Photoshopped into images of conflict to spice them up. A twenty year-old image of a dead Serbian woman becomes this year's image of a dead Afghani woman. A man with no military history, but a prosthetic leg and an affinity for firearms, suddenly becomes a veteran of the second Iraq war.
And yet, the public is always outraged whenever these lies come to light, as if each time were the first. The fact is that almost all photography is a lie, if only a simple lie of omission.
And I think that's interesting as hell.
My photography is about exploring the ideas of truth and storytelling, and what is and is not acceptable from an image or from a photographer. My work is about challenges, and finding out how far the envelope can be pushed before it falls apart into a mess of bad images and disbelief.
My most recently finished project, Scopophobia began as an exercise to force me to photograph people in public and on the street - something which I have always been hesitant to do. The project became more interesting as I began to find ways to photograph people without confronting them, and slowly it began to resemble a series of people as seen through the eyes of a menacing stalker. But in reality, I was the one that was afraid - not the people in these images. Most of them don't even know I exist.
But photography being what it is, the truth doesn't matter. Scopophobia is about people that are afraid of being watched, even if it isn't about that at all.
Currently, I am working on my second photo book. This will be a series of portraits and texts, meant to question whether or not a portrait can ever show someone's 'real' personality, and how much of that is good photography, or us simply projecting our feeling onto the sitter.
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