In 1968, after graduating with a diploma in photographic theory I began my photographic journey thrust into a slow learning curve in the world of precise bio-medical documentation. Eventually this stringent adherence to exact processes of cut and dry recipes, formulas, chemistry and optics prompted me to explore other avenues of photography with more freedom to break the rules and to experiment with more creative camera and darkroom techniques. At this time I happened to find some back issues of The British Journal of Photography and American Photographer Annuals.
The photographers featured and the images they presented inspired me into a long period of imitation. In this pursuit I entered photo competitions and to my surprise won awards. I soon became bored with the static, stand alone photograph which I some how felt always had something missing. I continually had the urge (and still do) on seeing any fine art photograph to want to manipulate it in some way.
It wasn't until the mid 1960's that seeing the works of the pop artists/photographers prominent at the time that I finally realized how I wanted my work to be. The art of Andy Warhol, Man Ray, Diane Arbus, Saul Leiter, Mary Ellen Mark, David Bailey, Robert Frank and also the photographic works featured on album covers greatly influenced me. Their standout images presented a minimalist feel without unnecessary distractions. Just form and line, to the extent of dropping out tone, texture and where pin point sharpness doesn't seem to matter.
In my photographs I want the viewer to experience the illusion of a serigraph or etching.
"Crafting new work from old or discarded materials" For me, collage was a natural progression of my experimental image making. Old book covers, match boxes, stickers, post cards, driftwood, odds and ends I pick up from my travels and the hundreds of rejected photographs I have taken over the years which have some flaw, or such, I have kept and stored in countless boxes. All are used to some extent in my collage work. This cut and paste method of creating images is considered by some to be Folk Art, "Outsider Art," or "Art Brut." Art produced by those untrained in a formal setting. Dating back to the Victorian times as scrap booking it has survived for years and has been used by many famous artists the likes of Pablo Picasso, Joseph Cornell, Larry Zox, John Evans and Robert Rauschenberg. Many artists have pursued it as it comes in and out of fashion.
For me it's another way of expression. My collage/assemblage work allows me to express deeper ideas on religion, politics, news oddities and historical events. Ideas I cannot accomplish with the single photograph.
PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS
Up front I must admit to having no formal training in painting or drawing. My paintings are rough over worked and helped with the aid of found pieces of wood, wire, string and plastic mesh, amongst other objects. I call these works paintings but are in fact another extension of my collage work. I prefer to keep the images rough to enhance the texture and two dimensional effects. Although the original idea for each piece is preconceived I leave the final look to "accidental circumstance."