“Trying to define yourself,'' Tennessee Williams once said, “is like trying to bite your own teeth.''
I have been a habitué of classic car boneyards ever since I bought my 1936 Pontiac at age 15. My first go-to boneyard was Johnnie Monroe's in South Thomaston, Maine where I sourced parts for the Pontiac as well as a '29 Essex, a '41 Packard and a '54 Nash. While rummaging about I discovered incredible visual compositions in the distressed iron & glass. These compositions filled with line, color and texture inspired me the same way as some of the best abstract art. This experience changed the way I viewed the world. I swapped my toolbox for a camera and started to capture wild art.
At Rhode Island School of Design I was fortunate to study with Aaron Siskind, and at The Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), took workshops with Paul Caponigro, Arnold Gassen & John Loengard which further fueled my enthusiasm.
The abstract images I capture photographically are from real subjects. Therefore, they hold many levels of interest for me:
• the composition, texture, color
• the unspoken history of random events that created the subject matter, for which I can only guess or imagine
• wabi sabi (see Wikipedia)
• that despite the resulting image being my abstract perspective, the subject is an actual concrete found object.
•that the subject is generally something not considered beautiful, for example; a dumpster., but when taken out of context can be visually stunning.
• the objects have changed slowly over many years to get to the point at which I find them, but despite seeming permanent & static, they, can (and do) rapidly change or disappear.
• the interpretations expressed by viewers' imaginations.
People are taught to recognize and categorize all that they see. Abstractions reach deep into personal experience & imagination. My images may evoke a memory, an emotion, or a reminder of something visually similar. In a way I have a disadvantage; I know what I have photographed. Anyone else viewing my photographs is unencumbered by the influence of certain recognition and has a free range of imagination with which to appreciate their visual essence. My work is interactive; it starts a discussion. I am always eager to hear responses from others as to what they see or how it makes them feel.
Enough of all this palavering, let the images speak for themselves!