Here's a new addition to my personal portfolio - one cold morning, a very willing, dedicated, and humble friend, and half a day of retouching.
I think I've tried to explain my conceptual process in the past but sometimes I can feel a bit defensive about it. In some ways I feel like it's a bit backwards because I don't always have the true meaning of the work figured out before I make it and then I get down, thinking that, as an artist, the work doesn't mean as much if you didn't have a clear intent when making it. Truth is I almost never understand it until it's finished. Generally, I only come to understand the work after it's been created.
Some of the stuff I do is just fun, just image making for the sake of it, but then there are images that are really personal and important to me. Really from the beginning they all start from the same place - it's only through the process of making the stuff that I figure out if it's any good, how much it means to me, and what it is I'm doing.
The man in this shot, the awesome bay area theatrical artist Nathaniel "Natty" Justiniano, had a lot to say about what he saw in this image. I love that the image takes on new forms in different peoples minds. So much of the intrigue is in the viewers own narrative that I'm often hesitant to explain what the image means to me. I don't want to ruin the impression of an image with words because if the viewer can create their own narrative, filling in the blanks with their own story, then the work really becomes alive and personal. That's why I think my best work is the work that doesn't have a statement, but asks a question. That being said only read the bottom three sentences if you want to because I tell you what it is I see when I look at this image.
To me, when I look at this image I see myself. I see my fear of the unknown, my fear of change, my fear of death. By making this picture I think I'm living through the man in it because he's a lot braver than me.