Everyone has an outlet of some type, whether it's sports, cooking, dancing, nice cars, etc. For me, it's art making. Any kind- sculpting, painting, drawing, crafting. Doodling on notes in corporate meetings. Taking "spur of the moment" images on my cellphone. It both drives me absolutely insane and brings me to my happy place. But if I had to choose my favorite creative outlet- one that I would choose to do for the rest of my life if I was forced to give everything else up- it would be Photography, no contest. Yes, anybody can take a picture. And Photography as an art form can be extremely restrictive as far as creative identity is concerned (you can tell a Pollock is a Pollock or a Basquiat is a Basquiat for a reason). But there's a special kind of magic that comes from a photograph that you can't get from any other art form, a magic that I have been absolutely enthralled by ever since I picked up a camera for the first time when I was a kid: the magic of reality.
If I make a drawing of a still life, I can make a lot of decisions to make that still life as unique and engaging as possible: I can use unconventional materials to make it, I could break up the forms and distort it like Cubism, I could choose to only draw the negative space between the objects, or choose to make every outline a dotted line or a spiral. Any idea that pops into my head, I can do with Drawing. With Photography, I don't have the luxury of creative identity. I don't get to input my own style and personality into the breath of that photograph, not to the same extent as a drawing. Photography can be very cruel and unforgiving in that regard- since its inception, it has always been the process of capturing life purely as it is, and when you are an artist, that can make art making VERY complicated.
So in this scenario, all that I have is my camera, that same still life, and my brain. My objective is to create a piece of art that is going to be captivating enough to make people stop and look at it. If I were competing against a drawer and a painter, I would have no choice but to get crafty, and to try to cheat the system as much as I possibly can so I can level the playing field. And what is one way to achieve that with an art form that has only one outlet- documenting reality? Simple, I have to do the impossible- bend and break reality.
Portals is an ongoing passion project of doing just that- bending and breaking reality as naturally as possible with as little influence and resources as possible. Aside from light color correction, there is no editing to manipulate the image. Everything that you see is what happened naturally at that particular moment with the combination of angles, mirrors, and environment. My goal with this project is to document the mundane space and turn it on its head by tricking the eye and creating a fantasy. By implementing Photography's kryptonite, mirrors, into the space, I remix reality and place it where it shouldn't usually be, combining different sections in one image like a disjointed quilt and forcing it back into the camera, creating what looks like a portal into a different world. This allows me to use and celebrate the beautiful, simplistic, rigid nature of Photography against itself, thereby creating my own magic, my own new reality.