Cancer and Cameras

My father was a coal miner, dead by 40 with lung cancer, my Mom a self focused narcissist which made me an orphan self supporting by 14, the street was my t.v. and entertainment, but not my family or social life.
I went into psychology, a drug dependence counselor working in prisons, running groups. Hating that I decided to drive a cab, back on the street, meeting musicians and artists who trained me and encouraged me, until I went to art school, a painter using transportation in various forms as a day job to this day. 

I went back to art school all over again and explored creative writing and digital art, which was originally used as a place to sketch and draw and prepare for painting using photo manipulated reference. 


One day a prof (Alan Dunning) asked me why photo and digital weren’t good enough to be art on their own, what was this class structure I had in my head with regards to art making…So I painted a triptych, each piece 5 feet by 3 feet for my final thesis grad show, flowers from my garden, then dived into the world of photoshop and cameras and Internet, and haven’t looked back haven’t painted since, still on the street as a reference and on the streets of the Internet as an exploration and an audience. A citizen of the Internet.


Intensely satisfying, the happy accidents, found on my screen when I get home.
I realized that I loved the photo process it’s immediacy and journalistic properties, and the extended quiet reflection allowed by digital manipulation of light in post process.

I did photo-collage for an advertising company for awhile (I needed the money) and saw the ruthless manipulation of people through using the psychology of anxiety by the  entire advertising industry, and could not morally be part of it. I returned to transportation logistics for income and bought myself a little digital camera and started over in creative development; down the digital rabbit hole.
I admire the studio artists using photo who can make the figure work so it is art and not a forced posed fabrication such as Alina Noir can.
I prefer my flowers in the wild, blowing in the wind, probably too shy to ask them to disrobe, and enjoying the mystery and the element of trace in a hidden glance or a footprint in the sand.
I admire Jeannette Sarpola‘s architecture and New York city life but I am not so into geometry. I prefer organic and soft shapes bundled with the expression of emotion that speak for themselves.
I spoke to a courier client, an accountant whom I showed how to quit smoking a couple of years ago, who chose not to quit, at that time. She appeared much thinner now and her skin the same colour as the cigarette smoke she inhales constantly. She said her cancer is back with a look I see often on terminal patients faces, of fear and resignation.
It’s a look I see often on the street and in coffee shops behind forced smiles and congeniality. It often finds it’s way into my camera.

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