Can you tell me about your practice? How do you get started on a piece of work?
All of my work begins with a source image, or a set of source materials. Whether it’s a colour grid, a manipulated landscape or portrait, or an ink print, they all begin with a single photo or group of photos. Then, I either create the work completely on the computer using a series of Photoshop algorithms, I rearrange the ink cartridges in my printer and begin printing the image, or I set the image to print and manipulate the page as it moves through the printer.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
Visually, almost all of my influences are abstract painters. But my processes and ideas are influenced by my personal experience with photography, and my perspective on our our collective cultural relationship to photographs. In contemporary society, everyone has a personal understanding of the camera and photography, and I want my work to showcase, challenge, or reevaluate that understanding.
The Intentional process of manipulation of materials and imagery is central to your practice, tell us about this?
I think I may be a painter at heart – I am drawn to shape, colour, material, surface – things that aren’t always associated with photography. However, I love the camera and printer and ink and paper. So I think I’m constantly trying to use the tools that I love to create imagery I am drawn to. This forces a perspective shift, and allows room for the viewer to have a new experience with photographic imagery.
How important is the choice of material in relation to realizing the concept of your work?
For me, the materials are almost always a practical, secondary decision. That is, the type of paper/ink that I use is usually determined by what will showcase this particular imagery the best. My colour grid works are printed on a thick handmade rag paper and a special print canvas, both have a terrific surface. This works well with the flat even squares of colour because it provides a brilliant depth when you view the works in person. However, my works that have more detail in the printed image need to be printed on a smoother paper to allow the small details to come through.
What is your most important tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
My Canon large format printer – this is the only printer I’ve used that I’ve been able to successfully rearrange the ink cartridges in. This technical process is crucial to a lot of my work, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without this specific printer model. Canon stopped making it a few years ago, so I hope I can keep this one in good shape for a lot longer, because I won’t be able to replace or repair it!
Can you give us a book recommendation that has been important in your practice? And tell us why it’s important.
Susan Sontag’s “On Photography” translates so many complex thoughts that I have about photography into incredibly concise, simple language. There’s been many times when I’ve been thinking about a concept or idea in the studio, and I’ve had trouble translating that idea into words – and here she is, 50 years ago, clearly expressing that exact idea in two sentences.
Finally, is there anything new coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I have a body of work that I’ve been developing for a few years, and I feel like I’ve finally arrived at the best version of this process. Hoping that it will be on view in Los Angeles soon, but I need to finalize some printing and framing decisions. Stay tuned!