Right around the corner from my apartment building is a store that specializes in selling vacuums. I walk by this store everyday and I am always struck at the amount of ways someone can choose to pick up unwanted debris from their home. Two doors down is a store that sells lamps, only lamps. There are hundreds of lamps to choose from. All of them are hideous but still hundreds of choices. This idea of being able choose, choosing what we focus our attention on, what kind of mattress we want to sleep on, or the food we eat. What interests me is not necessarily the choices themselves, but watching people navigate those choices.
The way in which I try to show these internal struggles of choosing is through photography. Taking pictures allows me to be apart of that contemplative moment with the subject, however long or short I might be viewing. The choices I make are decided where I am looking and I try to go to places where others are actively looking/seeking out a resolution to their choice. Whether it be which animal to look at next at the zoo or which food truck they are going to go to for lunch.
I find the repetitive nature of visiting a place over and over again to be something that helps me in seeking out how people go about navigating their choices. I have been going to the zoo two to three times per week for 3 hours at a time. Doing this allows me to compare and contrast how people react to different situations and see how they choose re-route their plans. Obstacles such as a long line to get food, or not being able to see a panda bear leads to things such as disappoint or fighting. How one reacts to these obstacles is a choice in itself. There is an overabundance of choices and constantly exposing myself to these reactions helps with what images I choose to take.
My sketchbook has allowed me to study the images I have taken more closely. I am able to create a more tangible way of displaying the act of looking and choosing. Physically interacting with the images I have taken has forced me to think about why I was actually taking the pictures in the first place. Once I find these connections in the picture by either drawing on top of them, altering them in some way, I quickly want to get back out in the world to continue capturing those moments. For me the studio is a place where I would be for times personal contemplation or when I have finished a project and am thinking of the next one, otherwise.
I think I make art/take photographs because I have a need to visually express my thoughts in ways that I would not be able to do with words. I have always been interested in abstractly portraying the inner workings of my mind. My photographs are a more conceptual practice that lets me try to show what goes on in the minds of others.