PROJECT TITLE: Manual of Personal Mythologies
Central to my work is an exploration of the origins of fantasy and desire. Profiting from the purported realism that photography offers, I examine the ways fantasy and desire ultimately rely on the association of truth with visual reality—while revealing the narrow boundaries between the visible and the fantastic. From commercial to underground, from symbols and language, I seek to create images and work that will serve to uncover a hitherto hidden history of our collective fantasies.
I first began exploring this avenue of thought in a series of portraits of mystics and healers, titled Signs of A Nomaly, which I created last year. My current project marks next logical step in my explorations; a set of still-lives, landscape and portraits entitled Manual of Personal Mythologies. My studio practice has for long been dedicated to the understanding of fantastical declarations and ways and systems of belief like those offered by religion, spirituality, healing methodologies and political ideologies. My exploration lies on the margins between sweeping enlightenment and lingering fantasy, a sort of autonomous in-between area that ultimately serves to deconstruct the binary notion of truth and fantasy.
My use of landscape in this body of work references and alludes to the fetishization of nature as a divine ideal, which appears in both photography and painting at the turn of the 20th century. Images of pristine natural landscapes have long been used as a way to emote, such as with the Impressionists, or as a means to leave behind the physical world, as was the goal of photographer Alfred Stieglitz in his series The Equivalents. In my work, landscape acts as a suggestion, where a shadow falls across a book, at the same place as a horizon line or a subtle crease is a substitution for the horizon. Bringing together portraits, still lives and landscape, the work weaves in and out of fantasy, romance and reverie.
Fantasy, myth and religion are the driving forces of my work. I am attempting to create a plateau for escape, in which the viewer has the possibility to step into the fabricated rituals and stories based on my own research and personal history. Through my work, the viewer is granted a chanceto circumvent the physical world in much the same way that my previous subjects have been attempting to escape the modern material world.