Vestige Still Life
The works in the series, Vestige: Still Life, capture arranged, small-scale domestic scenes inspired by the classic and contemporary still life genre. Using “antique” objects -- purchased or inherited, cultivated or wild plantings from the land around my home or newly produced goods, I create a subtle tension between the natural and artificial. The tensions created by the various objects serve as a metaphor for clashes between personal and societal expectations and the ambivalences such tensions create. Serving both symbolic and indexical functions, the objects and the use of ambient, natural light also point to the passage of time, changing of seasons, growth, aging and loss.
Modeled Perfection / Transitional Occupancy
The Modeled Perfection series addresses the sociological aspects of marketing and advertising homeownership in gated or master planned community “luxury” model homes. The work looks at the perfection of the homes on display and often where perfection fails to measure up. I am intrigued by the duality. I show the flimsy veneer of such promotion and desire to achieve this “American Dream” by focusing on the subtle details of awkward juxtapositions of architectural styles, non-functioning decoration and the prevalence of readily available art. The work borders a thin line between commercial, home decorating and real estate sales photography, and that of art photography. While my intent and motivation is different from selling the product, my photography borrows the visual language of both commercial and art photography.
The homes photographed in the Transitional Occupancy series are in various stages of occupancy – empty, awaiting an owner, “staged” to attract a buyer, only partially lived in, or spaces converted to serve a different function than the intended or original use.
Best real estate practices determine that the home on the market must be shown and staged to look homey but also remain generic – for a potential buyer to imagine his or her life-belongs in the space. I bring to light the odd rituals that take place when trying to sell a home – the constant vacuuming, dusting, careful arranging of books and other knick-knacks. The process is all made to look effortless as experienced in the stillness and near perfection captured in the photographs.
In my pursuit of photographing the build environment, I take a critical look at the aesthetics of suburban development. While the photographs serve as a metaphor for the social and environmental issues involving suburban development, the images are often masked in irony as seen through the polite distance of subjective photography. The viewer is never given direct information as to who resides in these places – as each photograph is devoid of people – so the viewer must rely on small indicators found in the yards, exteriors and shared spaces to imagine what life is like living in these developments.
Among the stagnated developments, after the housing market crisis of latter end of the last decade, new residential developments (some master planned), have expanded in higher growth by desirable locations near bodies water, wildlife protected areas, golf courses or other recreation. Often covenant governed communities with private security; this new growth pushes development to the far reaches of metropolitan areas – the intersection of suburban and rural land zones.
In photographing the suburban-to-rural transect zones I seek to highlight similarities even between the most different of geographic locations such as, contrasting desert climates to areas with foothill mountain backdrops. Rather than solely focusing on the groomed and desirable areas, complete with the modern necessities and conveniences, I am most concerned with presenting a view of the effects on the suburban landscape.