Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Feeser , Andrea
Hung , Christina
McDonald , Todd
I make images about images, sometimes about the ones that already exist in a given photographic outlet - be it the media, the web, magazines, periodicals, or the canon of art history, and occasionally, I make images fueled by the philosophy and aesthetics of these channels.
My role as a photographer is not that of a problem solver but rather a locator and creator of visual discrepancies. I locate something that strikes me as interesting or curious, perhaps the gaze of a dog in an Erwitt photograph, and then I find something else that is equally compelling, and combine them to see what arises. It is as if I were a worker bee that grew tired of pollinating the same kinds of flowers and one day decided to begin cross-pollination of floral specimens just to see what else was out there.
I believe the reason for my interest in referencing and combining art historical images with popular images is due to the mass influx of images that are very much a part of my generation's upbringing. Granted the art historical image is a personal preference, a way for me to honor, praise, question, and possibly re-introduce the works of other photographers to a new audience, while simultaneously throwing a bone at my preferred audience, the artists. The popular image, however, is a product of my own exposure to mass produced images. As a photographer in this day and age I cannot look at a PVC pipe without imagining a Super Mario spit-fire plant coming out of it or see an image of a dinosaur and not think of Jurassic Park. How then do I, as a photographer, make images that are stripped free of references to other images when between television, films, video games, newspapers, magazines, and the globalized image powerhouse of the Internet we have already been exposed to nearly the entire scope of photography? It is for this very reason that I expect my audience to have a pre-existing familiarity with certain kinds of images, I assume that they've seen certain films, album covers, viral videos, billboards, postcards, or at the very least have been exposed to something similar. My work is peppered with references and whether the viewer picks up on them initially or not I believe they help shape the audiences experience of the work in interesting ways that hopefully invite a certain level of inquiry into the way they personally view and understand images.
Nogues, Brian, "Some Kind of Familiar Image" (2010). All Theses. 812.