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back story

This website is a place to find projects in varying stages of completion, on-the-road musings, out-takes and more. It is a place to see what does not end up in the photographs, but is still very much apart of making them. It is an invitation for dialogue.

I used to harbor the superstition that if I looked closely at how I made pictures I would jinx myself. Sylvia Plachy, my first mentor, put this fear into words: I am like a centipede, if I had to think about how I got from one place to another, my legs would get all tangled up, and I would never go anywhere!  

After twenty five years of making pictures, the fear is losing it’s hold.  A good photograph is always rooted in one’s subconscious, but, the ancillary moments are what get me from one  photograph to the next photograph.  

Brief history:

My photographic education began in 1989 in Sylvia Plachy’s attic, in Woodhaven, Queens, where I sorted boxes of prints full of unspoken mystery. Each photograph read like a real-life fairy tale or parable of enigmatic and hidden messages. My afternoons were spent trying to absorb and decipher their meaning. I fell in love with photography’s interplay of our inner and outer experience.  During my nine-month apprenticeship I understood that finding my way in photography would be a circuitous courtship with my inner life, with no real guarantee.

I enrolled in the full-time Documentary program at ICP, where Nan Goldin, Larry Clark, Charles Harbutt and Joan Liftin, and many others, encouraged and nurtured my curiosity and craft. Under their guidance I learned to join hand, eye and heart, the camera’s lens, a ‘third eye’, and find my own way of seeing.

Running countless rolls of film through my camera, I honed my craft, rewarded with photographs that teach me as much about myself as they do about my subjects.

 

My early mentors supported an intuitive approach over technical expertise. Joan Liftin warned us never to let technical issues get in the way of a good photograph. I have an innate impatience and disinterest in the technical side of photography, so without these sacred words I may have given up long ago.

Current Project(s):

ASSEMBLY: an ongoing series of large-scale portraits of children in places of competition, pageantry or performance, which highlights the individual within these specialized spheres.