January 22, 2017 – Blood Box

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Back to the old obsession.

I can’t really justify it, and I typically don’t spend a terrible amount of time at home mapping-out symbolism and structure to my series, but that’s just the way it goes. On the surface it might sound unwise, haphazard, and foolish for a visual artist to operate almost entirely from instinct – and that’s probably an accurate assessment. But I hate the stuffy pretensions and relentless insistence that everything has to mean a specific thing. I’ve never been the kind of creator that felt the need to bludgeon his audience with ideas of how they ought to feel about the images he makes.

Half the time I don’t even have a vague idea why I’m drawn to certain types of imagery. I walk around with my camera discover interesting objects and textures, and I make pictures of them. Over time, themes bubble to the surface and I spend some time looking at these themes and I try just as hard as anybody else might – probably harder – to try and figure out what it is that draws me to certain subjects.

Electrical boxes, storefronts, garbage bins, and gas meters? They attract me. Could they be symbols of our interconnectedness – interlocking roadways, an electrical grid, a dependence on natural gas? Maybe that’s what it is. Is it the uniform right angles, the unnatural ninety-degree angle that divides us from the rest of the natural world? Sure. Why not, right? Whatever the seed is for this curiosity, I find these things incredibly fascinating, and I’ve been thinking about them and photographing them for over a decade.


Consumerism, Commoditization, and Courtship

The Weed


“Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.”
~Oscar Wilde

Today’s a great opportunity to pretend I care about this holiday, but I can’t. It’s history has been obscured by shiny-bright advertisements, hideous department-store jingles, and a woeful pressure to shuck out hard-earned dollars for trinkets that’ll be discarded and flowers guaranteed to die. Beyond its history being bastardized in the name of making a buck, much of it is sketchy at best. At least, like so many great Christian tales, it’s history is unconfirmed, and it’s absolutely drenched in blood.

But I won’t be going into that.

Color me a cynic, but I don’t require a specific mark on the calendar to express the love and adoration I possess – for anybody. I can’t actually recall a time when this holiday inspired a legitimate exploration of love, anyway. I haven’t met a soul who can. It’s a pretty tricky subject to begin with, better left to poets, philosophers, and artists than flowers.com, Russel Stover, and Hallmark.

Love is fierce, beautiful, and agonizing, and it’s different for everybody. In my life, my dreams have been haunted by crudely lit bodies on the edge of the darkness, and I can recall those adolescent moments where romantic love and sexual desire fused together. Just like everybody else, I’ve never been able to make sense of ’em, and I suppose that’s what’s so romantic about…romance.

At the end of the day, we’re socialized in one direction, and our instincts drag us in another. There’s a tension that surrounds our sexuality in a repressed society, and that’s why it occupies every corner of our popular culture. It’s in our sit-coms, our pop songs, our art, and our literature. We’re obsessed with it, likely because it’s a puzzle that can’t be solved.

Especially not by a cheap box of chocolates or a diamond ring in a champagne glass.