I have mentioned that I have an upcoming exhibit this fall and the curator recently asked me for an ‘artist’s statement.’ Although I do not yet consider myself ‘an artist’ I did pen how I describe my work and the reasons I am so passionate about this craft. So, I thought I’d share it here:
Artist’s Statement – The subject of humanity is one that has moved me throughout my lifetime. The moments we all piece together to refer to one’s “life” are seldom captured in the environment in which we all travel – our daily lives. So often all of us look upon our lives in terms of the past, the present, or the future. The imagery that has always inspired me have been photographs taken by photojournalist; those images which depict life as it is being lived in the moment. The authenticity of those images surpasses any that are captured in the studio. My study of humanity, the Moments of Humanity is what this exhibit attempts to exude. The vast majority of the individuals in my work are complete and utter strangers, yet they are as precious to their mothers, fathers, their sisters and brothers as each of us are to our own families. And if we take just a bit longer to examine the faces that convey the feelings we each share, we are strangers no more.
My work attempts to capture the wide range of human emotion be it joyful or pained, contemplative or vapid, as all expression is universal to humanity irregardless of race or creed. The individuality manifests itself in how each of us interprets another’s expression be it in performance, music or daily life. In my mind, all of humanity deserves to be shared whether the subject is pleasing or disturbing to the eye and the heart.
My intention is to donate 100% of the net proceeds of my exhibit to two organizations, First Exposures and the SF Ballet. The net profits of my key piece entitled Eugene will go directly to Eugene. Of course the gallery takes a percentage of any sale and I do have framing/matting costs associated with this show that I’ll deduct from the donation. I’m not a saint!
So many people ask me ‘why?’ I simply say to myself, ‘why not?’ Sure the money would be nice to keep if anyone decides to purchase one of my pieces. Next year’s tuition for my daughter, my son’s first year of college is just one year away, savings for a car to replace my 19 year old vehicle, a vacation or of course – more camera gear. Throughout my life I have been able to earn a living, albeit not one that is filled with luxuries. And yes, there are many people who depend upon me financially as well as emotionally and yes, one day I hope to retire from the day to day work life. In essence, I have always had what I ‘need’ not necessarily what I ‘want.’ But in retrospect, what I wanted in material form was not really want I needed.
One of the largest benefits of being ‘an amateur’ is that my work is NOT governed by the control or pursuit of money. I have a good job, one that can support a family and college and my own life which will soon include Tracy. And if that job were to end, I am confident that in time I would be able to find another, one that could support the people who depend on me.
So much in life seems to be valued in money. Value is placed on the almighty dollar that often what is truly important in life is lost in greed and the pursuit of ‘more.’ For me, when the day finally comes where I will have no more tomorrows, I know in my heart that I will NOT think of money or things, but of the people who are closest to me and those that I met even if only for a moment. Those experiences in my life which I relish and regret are the ones I will feel and think about with my last breath. And for this hobby which I take oh so very seriously, I don’t want to ‘shoot like a pro.’ I simply want to develop as ‘an artist.’ Because for me, doing so helps me develop as a human being.