Beautiful Failures

This picture is a little painful for me to look at. It is just so close to being a fantastic new iteration in my WO1 series but it’s not. Instead I’m adding it to my pile of beautiful failures, images that almost succeed but stop just short of the finish line. I’ve been trying to do more WO1 images involving reflections (similar to what I did for Narcissus back in the day), and in particular, I’ve been trying to do a version of Narcissus that uses the reflections from puddles. So far however, I haven’t been lucky enough with things …

Why I Make the Art I Do, and the Origins of the W.O.1

Reflection 2012 I’m part of a trend of young photographers such as: Brook Shaden, Erik Johansson and Casane, using photoshop to create surreal images. If I had to give myself a label, I’d call myself a “Neo-Photo Surrealist.” Because while I’m creating images in the tradition of the Surrealists photographers such as: Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Lee Miller and more recently Sandy Skoglund. I differ in my choice of tools, namely in my use of Photoshop. I strive to make work that strikes a delicate balance between beauty and heady. But I wasn’t always this way. To explain why, let …

World of One: Angry Calm – the Art of Cool

Angry Calm 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24″ x 47 9/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30″ x 53 9/16” | Edition of 5   What is the essence of cool? I’ve spent years of my life (some would say wasted), trying find the answer to this question. The art of cool of me however, has always eluded me. Growing up in the 90s, I thought parachute pants were cool (something my high school friends will never let me forget). I also spent the entirety of my 20s trying to “keep it real” maintaining a lifestyle befitting for a bohemian …

World of One: Shinobi No Kame

Shinobi No Kame 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24″ x 40 7/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30″ x 46 7/16” | Edition of 5 Shinobi No Kame is inspired by Ninja Turtles (my favorite tv show growing up), and by the legendary Life Magazine photographer Gordon Parks. Although the atmosphere of Shinobi No Kame is reminiscent of a generic comic book ambush scene. The composition is inspired by Gordon Parks’ iconic The Invisible Man collaboration with writer Ralph Ellison. Production Notes This shot was taken almost as an afterthought. This summer, I was obsessed with shooting a water balloon scene for …

World of One: Citong

Citong 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24” x 52 7/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 58 7/16” | Edition of 5   Citong is named after my father’s hometown, a small village in Taiwan’s rural southern countryside. This image was shot at my grandparents’ house. A place remarkably unchanged since I was last there nearly ten years ago. Though this picture is loaded with nostalgia for me personally, I think artistically it comes up a little short. Here are some thoughts on why that is so.   Production Notes From a technical standpoint, these were really difficult shooting conditions. …

Walking Narcissist

Walking Narcissist Walking Narcissist is about the process of introspection, of questioning who we are and who we want to be. Like my Narcissus before it, this image directly deals with what is perhaps the primary theme of World of One, how our identities are constructed.   Production Notes The composition and placement in of the figures in Walking Narcissist, combines themes from my previous works Reflection, and Diligentia II. Reflection was the first W.O.1 image I shot on film, but I was never happy with the way it came out (which is why I hardly ever show it). I thought the …

Silent Scream

Silent Scream Silent Scream is the product of a collaboration with NYC based Hip Hop dancer/choreographer/actress Mayo Kinoshita. Mayo has a dizzying array of skills, and I felt really lucky to have her pose for my camera. Originally I had a more static and somber image in mind. However, once we started shooting, I was blown away by Mayo’s more dynamic take on the subject. This resulted in a much more fluid image, which I find easier on the eyes and more enjoyable to study in detail.   Artist Notes Silent Scream is about how we use seductive lies to …

World of One: Migrant Shores

Migrant Shores 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24” x 47” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 53” | Edition of 5 Shoot Notes I was visiting family in Taiwan and Hainan this summer, where I also managed to shoot two World of One pictures. Migrant Shores was taken in Sanya, a popular beach and resort destination on tropical island of Hainan, China. Physically, I think this was one of the most difficult shots I endured so far. The heat and humidity of the tropical island climate turned any sort of outdoor activity into a workout. Hell, I’d start sweating …

World of One: Fearful Courage

Fearful Courage 2016 Archival Pigment Print 24″ x 41″ inches | edition of 5 General Comments I shot Fearful Courage in November of 2014, but due to a lack of funding I was unable to develop this piece until recently. That said, I’m relieved to see that it actually came out ok! In the words of an old photographer I once worked for “It feels like taking a shit you’ve been holding in for months!” Procrastination aside, I’m also pleased to finish this image in time for an autumn release! It’s a dream of mine to make a World of …

Why the Colorful Shoes?

Excerpt from Invictus What’s with the colorful shoes? This is a question I get a lot when it comes to my self-portrait work. The short and simple answer, is that it’s an allusion to my youthful days as a competitive BBoy (break dancer). The long and complicated answer however, is that they’re there to represent the mysteries of life we have yet to solve. Sounds like art school bullshit, I know. But bare with me a little. The World of One is centered around the themes of dichotomy and paradox. I use the black and white suits as a metaphor …