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Artist’s Statement: Silhouette Series
I think of this work as “static dance.” This is a bit of an oxymoron since movement is a central element of dance, but what photography can do that dance cannot is freeze a moment in time and allow us to contemplate it. I love the expressive potential of movement in dance, but I also love slowing things down and thinking about the expressive potential of a single position. Since I am most interested in the overall form created by the human body, I make silhouettes, with just a little detail inside the outline to provide a sense of depth and enhance the form.
Like the ancient Greeks, I see the male body as beautiful in its own right, but in my photographs I try to move beyond a simple celebration of the body and capture a sense of emotion in my images. Life, for me, is often rather mysterious and even puzzling at times. At one moment, struggle might mingle with hope and a touch of sadness to create a complex mix of feelings, and an hour later everything might have changed. This is what makes life rich, but also what makes it challenging. I hope my photographs capture at least a little of this richness and challenge.
I primarily use myself as the model because an important part of my process is exploring the positions I can take on with my own body. I am the dancer in an improvisational dance, rather than just an observer providing feedback to a model and occasionally snapping the shutter.
The camera I used for making these photographs is a Hasselblad 503CW medium format camera, loaded with traditional black and white print film. Since I cannot trigger the shutter directly when I am in the picture, I fabricated a mechanism that allows me to trigger a timer connected to the camera's shutter, once I am in position in front of the camera.