Over the past several years, my artistic foundation in photography has been plagued with a single question: how can a digital image serve any human connection when it is entirely produced – and ubiquitously reproduced – by mechanical means (camera, computer, printer).
This has led to extensive research and apprenticeship with handicraft artisans, exploring the tactile potential of photography. Throughout each successive body of work I create, traces of the handmade are present, be it weaving, hand-dying, or layering – all which add a form of texture, dimension, and ultimately additional meaning to my work.
While this first pursuit is predominantly experimental and process driven, there is also a perpetual analytical inquiry about my own identity as a gay man and the LGBTQ communities with whom I identify. It is deeply rooted in my experience growing up in a conservative farming community in rural Ohio and subsequently through spending a significant period as an adult in Swaziland where it is illegal to be homosexual.
By weaving together photographic and sculptural elements, my artwork metaphorically speaks to the human condition of seclusion, oppression, memory, and loss. It also laboriously questions the potency of digital photography by embracing the haptic qualities of craft.