While the camera gives us a most wonderful tool for translating three-dimensional reality into two-dimensional space, the ease with which this can be done is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it frees the creative mind from the tedium of accurate reproduction. It’s a curse because it can easily trap the artist’s vision in day-to-day reality, limiting the imagination to only those things that can actually be seen.
To enjoy the blessing of the camera while avoiding its curse requires the artist to embark upon one of two paths. The first path is one of embracing the medium’s inherent realism. By becoming an expert craftsman with the tool of his trade, the artist is best prepared to see and to capture the incredible array of beauty that our world presents to us every day. Ansel Adams would be one example of someone who successfully employed craft to reveal the unique and ever present beauty of the world.
The second path, the one that I choose to follow, embraces the camera as a tool for exploring other, often unseen, versions of reality. With each image that I make, it is my goal to produce two effects. The first is to simply create a beautiful, arresting image – one that will grab the viewer’s attention and gratify his senses before he grasps the actual subject matter that is being portrayed. Since all subject matter is latent with meaning and metaphor, abstraction helps remove those concepts so that we can focus first on the simple beauty of the image.
The second purpose is to create an image that is still recognizable as being grounded in some common reality. While there can be beauty in a purely abstract swirl of lines and color, if it is too difficult to relate these lines and colors to something in real life, it becomes impossible to attach meaning to them, and it is meaning that gives true depth to an image.
My goal, therefore, is to use abstraction as a tool for revealing an elemental beauty in the everyday world by obscuring, momentarily, the most meaning laden components of the image.