foveal (mis)conceptions is a series of photographs dealing with vision and the choices we make regarding it. The title makes reference to the fovea centralis, a small depression within the retina that constitutes the area of most distinct vision. Light waves projecting within the fovea centralis are perceived as very sharp, allowing us to see that particular section of our vision with exceptional clarity. Light waves projected outside of it are within our peripheral vision and become less sharp as they progress toward the edge of our sight. My interest in this lies in the fact that our eyes act very similar, though not identical to, the working systems of a camera. With a camera, through focus and aperture choices, I am able to attempt to replicate this process of focused (foveal vision) and un-focused (peripherial vision) within my photographs. With a camera I use its ability to "un-focus" in order to compose my images based on form rather than detail. This practice has led me to "un-focus" my eyes when looking at something or to pay closer attention to my peripheral vision.
40 Gelatin Silver Prints, Steel, Neodymium Magnets
50 feet, 6 inches X 20 inches (as installed)
unique edition, 2016
Tokyo street fashion flows from Harajuku. The lane is narrow and filled with tourists and locals alike: people seeing, and wanting to be seen. The performance can be overwhelming at times, making navigation a challenge. I pause to watch and think about how other artists have approached such a scene: the speckled painting by Seurat with the umbrellas and hard shadows, the line of umbrellas in Tokyo as seen by Kertész, the way the buildings of the Sunset Strip become one through Ruscha’s lens, how my Tokyo looks nothing like Moriyama’s. All the while, Gwen Stafani’s Harajuku Girls is repeating through the ear buds
36 Framed Gelatin Silver Prints
11 inches X 14 inches each
edition 1/2, 2016
In 2009 I was taken to a spot in the Yanaka neighborhood where you could glimpse a view of Mount Fuji from the ground on a clear day. The day was not clear, so I never saw Fuji, but vowed to go back, as this was the last remaining spot in Tokyo where a ground level view was possible. I returned on a clear morning in 2015 only to find that an apartment building has since been erected, and the view is now blocked. That morning, the project 36 Views Toward Mount Fuji, was born. Following in the conceptual footsteps of both Hokusai (36 Views of Mount Fuji) and Hiroshige (One Hundred Famous Views of Edo), I set out pointing my camera in the direction of Mount Fuji (as verified by my iPhone) and captured monotonous views of the city that now obscures the most famous feature of the regional landscape. The project started on a hillside in Yanaka, and ended with the fading light falling on the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world and the 21st century’s landmark of the regional landscape.
20 Framed Gelatin Silver Prints
33 feet, 4 inches X 20 inches
unique edition, 2016
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden boasts a variety of plants and garden designs from around the world. The east end features the French formal garden, lined with rows of sycamore trees. These perfectly trimmed trees have always brought me pause, especially in winter, when their branches are void of leaves. I spend many hours watching and waiting. I want to capture the quietness of the trees that can only be heard when no one else is around. Waiting patiently for 37 million people to get out of my frame, I meditate on the absurdity.