Group of women with brown hair and dark jackets reading and taking notes on the front steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One women in the background in red reading lazily on her side.

Lazy Work – Visualizing Work and Play Through Art

Lazy Work 2015 If you’re anything like me, trying to find the right balance between work and leisure is a daily struggle. When I’m too focused on work, all I can think about are the things I want to do when I finish (which typically include degenerate and self-destructive activities). However, even when I have free time on my hands, I find that it is no longer “free.” Instead, I start to stress out about the work I probably should be doing, but am too lazy to get started on it. This battle between my dedication to my work and …

Man dressed in a black T shirt with a championship belt on his shoulder, staring at himself in a white button-up with a different championship belt.

Conflictus – Shooting a Muay Thai Champion

Conflictus 2015   It’s been a tough year for me production wise, and I think much of this has probably been of my own doing. My insistence on shooting film and focusing solely on one project has stifled production and handicapped my creativity. Happily, in recent weeks, I have opened up to some new ideas and am now starting to finally make some new work. Specifically, I have been taking the skills I acquired from developing my self-portraiture, and I am applying them to making portraits of others. I’ve always believed that the use of my likeness in the World …

An Asian man on a domed stone stage in a white suit with Asian men in black suits reaching from below.

World of One: Fortuna

Fortuna 2015 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24 x 41 1/4 inches | edition of 5   Growing up in the US through the mid 80’s and 90’s, I was raised in a culture obsessed with trying to convince everyone that they are winners. This is an unrealistic outlook, given the fact that in most competitions, more often than not, there can be only one winning party. So statistically speaking, myself and others often ended up on the losing end of things. For me, this near obsessive focus on being a winner has actually had a negative effect. Mostly …

Group of asian men in dark suits jumping straight into the air forming a circle, one asian man in a light colored suit standing on his head in the middle of the group, on a grassy hill.

World of One: Grounded Ambitions

Grounded Ambitions Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24 x 41 1/4 inches | edition of 5   This image is about setting realistic goals for yourself. It is my way of illustrating the old adage: Reach for the stars, but keep your feet on the ground. Grounded Ambitions has been marinating in my brain pan for the last 2 years. I had originally imagined it very differently, with one figure sitting on the ground and the other figures jumping wildly in the air. But in my mind’s eye, I foresaw compositional problems with that arrangement. When it came to …

Jealous Pride

Jealous Pride

Jealous Pride 2015 Archival Pigment Print 24 x 47 inches | edition of 5 Jealous Pride is about the fragile relationship we have with our own self-esteem. Simply put, when we’re feeling good, we’re totally unbothered by our insecurities. However, I often find that those same insecurities still linger in the dark recesses of our minds. Since I first started working on my World of One series, I’ve always thought to myself “This would probably look much better if it was a pretty girl in the picture instead of my face!” Now 5 years later, I finally have the chance to put that thought into action. …

BBoy Monster: WillDaBeast

BBoy Monster – Willdabeast, Fan Kick 2015 Archival Pigment Print 16 1/2″ x 24″ inches | edition of 10 Introducing the latest addition to my BBoy Monsters series: WillDaBeast!!! Gorgeous Will, as his friends like to call him, is a fellow crewmate and also a part time model, photographer, and general freelancer. Like many others in my BBoy Monsters series, he is a man of many talents and more than just a perfectly handsome and chiseled face! This is actually my second attempt at BBoy Monster-fying Gorgeous Will. This was shot in the DUMBO area of Brooklyn in front of …

RIP M.E.M

One of the photo world’s brightest stars, legendary photographer Mary Ellen Mark passed away this weekend. I interned in her studio the last year and a half or so, having left just this past April. So I thought now would be the best time to share some of my stories about her, both for me as a way to grieve, and also for future photographers who will never get to meet this wonderfully complicated women.   When I first moved to New York, I earned my first paycheck by assisting Mary Ellen for a parade shoot (meaning I got to follow …

World of One: Pleasures of Pain

Pleasures of Pain Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24″ x 47 3/4″ inches | edition of 5   “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha We should not pick on others because we ourselves will inevitably get hurt in the process. In Pleasures of Pain I am illustrating a similar concept, only using snowballs instead of hot coals. Pleasures of Pain visually depicts this conundrum by juxtaposing the same person in both roles: as both the aggressor, and …

Sleeping on a Cloud

  Sleeping on a Cloud I found this gem as I was going through my archive the other day. There is no Photoshop at work here; instead, this was done in a single shot, with me lying on a roll of white seamless paper inside of a camera obscura. Camera obscura, for the uninitiated, is the precedent and cornerstone of photography: “A camera obscura (Latin: “dark chamber”) is an optical device that led to photography and the camera. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the …

World of One: the Hustler

the Hustler (from the series World of One) 2014 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24″ x 44 1/4″ inches | edition of 5   This is what it feels like to live in New York City. Everybody is somebody here (or at least trying to be somebody), so nobody gives a shit who you are. To survive here, you have to be constantly moving forward in life. If you’re not giving it your all, then you’re falling behind. At least that’s how this city feels to me, and I’ve crafted this image to reflect those feelings. I wanted to …