That's me there on the left. Wearing my best suit. Twenty some years later I would develop my first image in the same darkroom that this picture of me as a child was developed in.
I am an artist and educator, fascinated by places that embody bygone industry. Places that are suspended in time- a suspension that disorients, that accentuates the visual. I am also greatly fascinated by space exploration, I am "ready" and willing to go to Mars or any other celestial body! Well, back here on Earth, I will also look to explore trees, farmland, volcanic sites, flowers, owls and bison.
I grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, hometown of what was once the second largest steel company in the world, Bethlehem Steel. Bethlehem was a mill town that could measure its successes by the inches of ash on its townspeople’s windowsills. And, it was work at the steel mill that brought my Windish ancestors to America. My grandfather worked at the mill for 36 yrs until his death. Many years later, I would be drawn to the dormant black mammoth-like beast. My fascination with the Bethlehem Steel site began on a bike ride in late November, 2003. The low, autumnal light casting dramatic shadows across its ruins caught my eye compelling me to traverse to and around the fences edge. I was captured. Its haunted shadowed darkness hinted at a presence under the patina of dissipation and decay, a presence imploring my attention. The play of light as it filters through a time ravaged labyrinth of an industrial site continues to excite my photographer's eye. What a wonderful first muse and impetus the Bethlehem Steel site has been for me!
My draw to subjects that embody bygone industry engages me on a few levels. The physicality of bygone industry through the lens provides a rich textured environment, and are environments that are generally not seen by the masses. Entering a bygone site often feels analogous to what it might be like to enter a time capsule. We have these moments in our lives where we "feel" time (the passage of time) more intensely and then we go about our lives and don’t think much about it on a day to day basis, except for maybe when events or circumstances highlight time. Time, the quintessential force that always gets us deep at our core, in which many creatives seek to arrest to one degree or another in their work. Being in these environments, I feel, affords the opportunity to get closer to time, at least the ravages of time. I am also deeply charmed by the industrial era, the design and form components along with the history and the nostalgia in American history of simpler way of life.
In 2014, I lost my beautiful father, who likely took the photo of me in my best suit, if not my father, then my mother took it, they both captured fabulous photos of my brother and I growing up. A hiatus from creating new work naturally ensued following the passing of my father, but lasted a bit longer than I thought. I just returned from a 5 month photo road trip out West (Spring 2018) and I am looking forward to sharing new images from the trip (as I edit through and scan images) as well as pressing forward on the multiple projects to which I am drawn.