Tales of the Observer

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Tales of the Observer

These pictures situate a mystical narrative along the edge of suburbia, a seemingly bland and uneventful place. This banality can incubate something curious, such as the luminous events shown in these landscapes. Conceptually, these pictures depict thresholds between physical, geographical, and psychological states of being.

Similar to the “Twilight Passages” series, characters wander this liminal, metaphorical landscape, observing the luminous events around them, all the while reflecting on their interior condition. The exact nature of the events is unknown; an imaginative leap is required to resolve initial perceptions, perhaps leading to further reflection and contemplation for the viewer. This project goes further to establish the presence of an omniscient observer, who’s persistent gaze from behind the windows runs through all the images, perhaps serving as a metaphor for our own contemplative capacity.

This project expands upon the earlier projects earlier series, “Suburban Sublime” and “Twilight Passages,” through which I first developed this approach to image making. I start by creating a 20”x30” tabletop diorama from photographs, cut paper and vellum. These dioramas are then lit in the studio and re-photographed. Through the play of light on vellum, I create the atmospheric effects. Through the interplay of physical materials, light, and implied narrative, this work explores the ambiguity between photographic realism and pictorialism, signification and abstraction, and the ordinary versus the uncanny.