World of One: Resisto

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Henry David Thoreau Resisto is one of those images I think are technically terrible, but somehow easy to look at. By technically terrible, I mean the focus on most of the suits is slightly off. It was an overcast day and we had very little light, so there are bits of motion blur here and there. The horizon line is skewed. I only shot one roll for this image when I usually shoot three to four, and I ended up using nearly every …

What It Feels Like to be an Artist in NYC Right Now

Surprisingly, last year was probably my best financial year to date. A combination of: qualifying for unemployment for the first time in my life, healthy art sales, some assisting work, and nowhere to go helped me build 3-4 months worth of savings. But this year all these streams of revenue have almost all dried up. I have been working, but even after we started to come back from lockdown, I’m doing about half the business I had during this time last year. If nothing happens, within 2 weeks I will be flat broke. As I always say, hoping that I’ll …

Yoga Master: Laura

There are few physical activities I dislike more than yoga. My impression of Yoga is that it’s the practice of standing uncomfortably. So I was surprised when Laura, a yoga instructor I met at a gallery opening, approached me about giving her the BBoy Monster treatment.  At first I was hesitant. Especially since I know next to nothing about Yoga. Plus I think a large part of my success with the BBoy Monsters comes from my knowledge of the dance, and each dancer’s specialty. For this shoot I would have none of those advantages. I felt like I was basically …

On the Value of Beauty

I’ve been thinking a lot about value recently. In particular, the relationship between value and beauty and art. Value is not to be confused with money mind you, as money is merely the medium in which value is exchanged. Instead value is tied to the things we need, but also to the things we like. Our values are a reflection of our beliefs, education, environment, and personal experiences. As the great street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham once explained: “Money’s the cheapest thing…liberty and freedom is the most expensive.”  Last month, a friend of mine asked me to take some video …

BBoy Monsters: Redaska

A few weeks ago my buddy Steve, a fellow BBoy/Photographer I know from Boston, told me he was moving back to France. While my focus this year has mostly been on binding books and expanding the World of One. As a parting gift, I asked him if he’d be interested in posing for a BBoy Monster. Steve, who goes by the BBoy name “Redaska” has always had a unique style. Blending creativity with athleticism, his dancing caught my eye from the moment I first saw him throw down. I’ve always thought of his style as a real dancer’s dancer. From …

A Spring Story

Around this time every year, I panic. As soon as the leaves start blooming, I start to feel the creative pressure to get out and capture their fleeting beauty. After missing out on spring entirely last year (lockdown will do that), as well as trudging through a tough and harsh winter. I feel like I’m appreciating this spring more than any other I have in my life. Between raising AAIP hate crimes and staggering death tolls, I really just wanted to go out and make something pretty.  So a couple weekends ago, I asked my friend Ann to go out …

Responding to Asian Hate

I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts or what I like to call “Your suburb’s suburb.” Our claim to fame is that we are the site of the start to the American Revolutionary War. On our town green there’s a flag with an inscription that reads “the Birthplace of Liberty.” There’s a playground less than a mile from there, where I must’ve been around 6 or 7 years old when someone first called me a chink. It was by another little boy on the playground, who was trying to throw me off one of the wooden structures we were climbing on. I …

Books for Burning

I tend to think of my work as fitting into one of three categories: Eye Candy, Mind Candy, or a mix of the two. Most of the work I’ve made in the past decade I think belong in the Eye Candy/mixed camp. This is largely driven by practical considerations, as beauty tends to be an easier sell. However, the Mind Candy side is where I think I make my most compelling, and thought provoking work. This summer I started my first long term Mind Candy project in ten years. I am hand binding 451 little red books, and when I …

Muses and Mystery

Ann is one of my closest friends in New York. Although she might look like a kpop star, she’s actually a doctor finishing her residency. So I basically never see her, because she’s usually too busy saving us from ourselves. So when she asked me to take her picture at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden last weekend, I jumped at the chance. It’s been awhile since I’ve shot any portraiture – surreal or otherwise. Because I started a new labor intensive project in July that I’ve been too busy procrastinating on. So I haven’t been shooting all that much, and when …