Today’s image – like most of them – is pretty self-explanatory. I mean, it’s photography, right?
Usually – but hey, not necessarily always – it’s almost always obvious what a photographic image is actually of. Even a brickwork of primary-colored Mondrian tiles is imbued with subtext and pregnant with meaning. So why not a portrait of a rusted heap, rotting in the desert like a disposed of beer can baking under the sun?
But it isn’t my job to tell anybody how they’re supposed to feel about an image like this. Much of my work, I’ve been told, carries with it, or conveys, a certain ambivalence. This isn’t even halfway close to true. I compose my images carefully, but I’m not concerned, at least not at all times, with being explicit with personal meanings. Ambiguity allows for different experiences, and I think that ambiguity can be a very powerful tool when creating artwork – especially photographic artwork, which is often disregarded as an easy, unimportant happenstance that occurs between the photographer and whatever happens to fall before his or her camera lens.
I am drawn to textures, contrasts, and colors. And I love the camera’s ability to take everyday objects and completely re-frame them. We all know what a car is – wheels and a seat, a hood and door-handles. But when we encounter cars in our day-to-day lives, we’re always taking in the whole thing. It’s a familiar object and, because of its familiarity, it’s easy to disregard. But when you look at the details, the scratches, the design of the body, the wear on the upholstery, the scuffs on the tires, something else emerges. I wouldn’t want to give that ‘something’ a name, really, but the camera has given me, if nobody else that looks at my photographs, the ability to recognize absolutely insane beauty in the unutterably mundane.
In a world filled with cars – to an almost sickening degree – I was walking down the road and saw the age and rust on this particular vehicle, and I was drawn to it. So…I dunno. Do with that anecdote what you will.