Other People's Pictures
I have collected snapshots for over 25 years at flea markets and antique stores around the globe. These objects are significant artifacts of the 20th century since they record our collective democratic history, from everyday moments to historical moments. Some of these snapshots even inadvertently leap into the realm of fine art through lucky accidents with double exposures, blurred images or unexpected angles. There must be billions floating around the planet. Although less so since the advent of digital photography. All of us have them, but beyond the value that they have as memories and reminders of our personal histories, how many of us have looked at them as works of art? I have also always been fascinated by how different people can perceive the same exact thing so differently based on their realities.
Looking at the thousands of snapshots I have collected over the years, I would sometimes marvel at a common connection that I would see between images that had nothing to do with each other. I would group them together and create dialogues with 2,3 to 20 images. This led to the conceptual series of work that I have titled; Other People's Pictures. I choose the title because I am literally re-contextualizing work that was taken by other people.
Sometimes, I take the snapshots and enlarge them significantly – from a palm-sized print to something that is 30 x 40 inches or larger. This size transformation also opens up a whole new awareness of what is in the image. Details that aren’t noticeable in the smaller print take on a whole different role; the expressions on the faces in a crowd or of a central figure in an image that might be too small to discern otherwise.
The continuing series has two other elements to it. A pile of snapshots containing a multitude of personal histories that gallery visitors can participate in by taking an image or leaving one and video pieces created using footage from home movies that I purchased at flea markets following the same tradition that I have used with the snapshots.
Like my photographs, my video work tends to come out of things that unfold in front of me.