I was invited to show in USC’s Spring Art Exhibition that is currently hanging in the gallery located in the KAM building on the Health Sciences campus.
My deadline to deliver images was hastened by the fact that I was leaving town and didn’t have a cohesive body of work ready to show. Since this group show brought together artists from varying genres, rather than working within a theme I took the opportunity to show images that were not be likely to be exhibited otherwise. Other than the fact that these are “found images” that I encountered and made on various occasions they have no specific unifying factor.
Man On Subway was shot in New York while I was scouting locations for an FX job one morning. I got up early and jumped on the subway as we were considering using a subway tunnel for the environment for one of the characters of The Strain.
Favela Boy was shot in Colombia while I was on a job photographing Marc Anthony. The favelas were very poor and usually dangerous but this one tured out to be welcoming and it seemed most of the town flooded the street to see what the commotion was about. This is where I realized how well Marc could control a crowd. He engaged them on a very personal level, he was holding babies, dancing, and singing along with street musicians, he patiently listened to what they wanted to say and genuinely opened himself up to making a connection. As the crowd grew our security detail insisted that he get back in the car or I’m sure he would have stayed for hours connecting with new friends.
Church – Junction City, KY was shot a couple of months ago when my brother and I made a pilgrimage to see my mother’s gravesite for the first time. This church sits just a few yards from the house my mother grew up in and where we spent time every summer of my childhood. It’s located behind the house and as a child I never really knew it was there as the playground for the local school was just out the front door. What initially caught my eye were the remains of a large tree that appeared to be hit by lightening. One can only hope it occurred when someone was praying for some sort of sign from above as they exited the church.
A Week in The Life of A Freakshroom came about one night when I was making a salad and discovered a two-legged mushroom. Still photography typically serves to ignore the passing of time so I took the over-endowed fungus to my studio the next morning, photographed it and set it aside. As an homage to a practice I developed while working for product photographer Bill Stettner in New York, I revisited it a week later and photographed it with the same light but a different background in an effort to record a period of time rather than just a moment in time.
Steam Engine was photographed while location scouting a decommissioned train service yard somewhere just outside of Medellin, Colombia. We returned to shoot there that night unaware that a storm of biblical proportion was about to hit and spent much of the evening taking shelter in the derelict train cars that littered the area along with the vermin that called them “home”. What could have been a nightmare actually provided an amusing bonding experience for crew and talent.
Chester the Jester is from John Gaughan’s epic collection of vintage magic apparatus. John is one of the more accomplished and interesting humans I’ve encountered and holds all the secrets for the most successful illusionists of the past few centuries. Chester was made in the 1930’s by brothers Glenn and George McElroy for ventriloquist Dell O’Dell. This was among the first “dummies” to have elaborate controls, 13 different facial controls (and it’s nose lit up) which used in combination by an expert could seemingly bring Chester to life. By example, Edgar Bergen’s Charlie Mccarthy could only move his eyes.
Barn – Havana, ND was shot during a storm while visiting my wife’s family in North Dakota. It’s part of the slowly changing landscape as this bunker of a barn is soon to be dismantled and sold as reclaimed lumber after occupying that space for generations.
The Weepies are an amazing musical duo comprised of husband and wife team Deb Talen and Steve Tannen. I have worked with them over the years on several projects and they are definitely two of my favorite people. This image was made in the basement of an old vaudevillian theater in Iowa and was a joyful experience as it marked victory in Deb’s brave battle with aggressive stage 3 breast cancer. She kicked its’ ass.
Tom Waits is an outtake from a shoot I did years ago. We were shooting in a pay-by-the-hour motel in Northern California and during a break we stepped outside. Tom leaned on his truck and made up a few lines about some of the things that that room has likely seen.