Everything Happens (1976)
I am an artist who relies on collaboration between my conscious and subconscious to create work that is both direct and subtle. I am not immediately aware of the subtext in my work. It comes to the surface after spending time with my photographs. This allows for what seems paradoxical: wide and universal readings of the work based on my narrow and specific personal point of view, experiences and stories.
Everything Happens (1976) is a photographic portrait of male rites of passage from adolescence through adulthood to old age. As a witness to these life transitions I observe and question the terms of my development as a man shaped by my experiences as a son to my father and a father to my sons. Through the aforementioned balance of conscious and subconscious thought, I construct a visual narrative that reflects a layered family structure and relational dynamic. It is at once comforting and vexing, predictable and full of surprise. I am both insider and outsider in this portrait study.
The work exists within the genres of family and humanist photography. Through sequencing and the pairing of images, I suggest a narrative structure that subverts the myth of parental influence as well as any assumption that we know someone through ancestral ties. In approaching this project, I allow the making of photographs to be an interactive exercise. I am a performer, a witness and a composer in a space that is flexible and complex. This space allows me the opportunity to contemplate, amend and perhaps even shift an inherited narrative.
Through both staged and candid photographs the work that makes up Everything Happens (1976) is at its core about death both literal and metaphorical, loss and the difficulty of reconciling loss. It is about looking back to try and learn from the past while looking ahead to an unwritten future, at once full of both menace and promise.