Window on the Road to Abiquiu

Artist's Statement

To See. To Wonder. To Funk.  

My uncle Fred and brother Jim exposed me to photography when I was a teenager.  So, photography is what I turned to as I experienced a growing need to express myself.  

I seem to see so much (my blessing) and then seem to wonder and over-analyze it (my curse). Constantly, I am noticing things, both large and small…significant and insignificant…and then wondering about them.  The scientific community calls it “unusual cognition.” It is this unusual cognition that causes my own thoughts to overwhelm me and can make me feel as if I am stuck between reality and a dream or processing state.  

I remember being at a concert with one of my sisters and her daughter.  We had just sat down and my niece started talking to me and asking me questions.  When I did not respond, she asked her mom what was wrong with me.  My sister said, without hesitation and with complete understanding of me, “He’s processing.”  So whether it is labeled unusual cognition, highly sensitive to surroundings, obsessive compulsive, or hyper-processing, how do I deal with the “blessing” and the “curse?”  My coping mechanism?  My way to express it?  Simple.  To funk.  

Photography provides me with the best starting point to funk.  It allows me to capture, in the most realistic form, what I am seeing and wondering about.  Once back in my studio, the color and light distortion I apply to the photograph is the expression of the wondering and processing I did when I looked at that “reality.”  In the end, the image must be a bledning of the real and the surreal–the two worlds I am so often stuck between.  

Particularly, my art is coping.  It is therapy.  It is how I deal with my world…funking it up one photo at a time.  

Secondarily, if I photograph what I see and distort it, then maybe I can make the viewer of my art “see” and “wonder” a little too…to walk in my shoes.  Because if I and another person walk past the same place or view the same scene, chances are I will see something and wonder about it.  The other person will probably just walk right past it and go on enjoying life.  But with a little funking up, I can now enable that same person to view it through my eyes and mind.

I do love when people look at my images and say, “Well, that part looks ‘right’ –it looks like the real world, but that part doesn’t.”  And I respond with “Exactly.  That’s it.”  For example, in my “Window on the Road to Abiquiu” image, the wood window frame looks “right,” the brick and adobe wall looks “kind of right,” but the red sky looks “wrong.”  That is my world…my life.