Archives for "October, 2014"

Oct 24, 2014


Here’s a little self-portrait / photogram composite and part of a larger installation I made at 19, the final of my darkroom class. I had taken my partially broken 35mm Canon to my favorite little cemetery, a tiny fenced in plot holding the 19th century remains of the Chamberlain family in East Albany, VT; I grew up on that family’s hill. I always felt comfortable there among the graves somehow, like their inhabitants could offer me some understanding from the depths of their silence over the heartbreak and health plagues that sought some comfort in trips home from college.

Grief burns no less at 19 than at later points in life. But at 19 MORE

Oct 11, 2014


I was just going through a stack of old snaps I’d taken with my film camera back in my early days in NY. I took this photo where I was living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, on the morning of 9/11. My friend and roommate had just learned that she was pregnant with her first child, and was out jogging; it was my Dad’s birthday; and I couldn’t understand the tension I was feeling about getting dressed for work. Prior to being alerted, of course, to what was happening just across the river.

I went to the rooftop. Moving my camera from the point of terror upward (CLICK MORE to see it), I found myself shooting the soft and haunting abstracts of a sky whose crystal blue gradient was quickly, but quietly, being taken over by an aggressive courtship with brown, and with the off-white of only those things that are sick…

As a standalone shot (as with all things abstracted from their original sources of muck or stain) what really is happening here in this second shot as a resulting gem of this – the greatest blindside in our country’s experience – but a gorgeous pastel form? One I’m almost inclined to have printed on some bed sheet from a print-on-demand company soliciting from my inbox, so that I might wrap myself in the celebration of being a breathing, seeing enigma in a sea of breathtaking compositions emerging from even the harshest of tragedies. And stay wrapped in that, often.

I am willing to soak in the beauty that is the result of being blindsided. And I know about being blindsided.

Yet if I could feel this openhearted sensitivity about the skyline’s beauty on 9/11, why could I not arrive at that abstract bed sheet of smiles more easily when blindsided by betrayal in more personal a form? CLICK FOR MORE MORE