As we all do around this time of year, I'm taking a few moments to reflect on the year that is wrapping up, as well as looking toward the year ahead. Personally, 2017 was a rewarding year. My creativity seemed to be in an elevated state of flow, and I was fortunate enough have some health stability back in my life, after a challenging time in the previous year.
I dove deep into self-publishing, and I discovered the book (or zine) format was a platform for my photos that I really enjoy working with. My book collaboration with Fabio Miguel Roque, tilted "Beyond / Além" was released in the spring, and we were honored to also be able to exhibit the work in September in Évora, Portugal.
I was happy to launch a new series of zines called "Flaunt the Imperfections" that will act as an outlet for my own film photography, as well as an opportunity to collaborate with other film-based photographers. A special thank you goes out to Daniel Milnor and Justin Thor Simenson for being my compatriots in ink, dots, paper and pixels.
I'm continually thrilled to be part of the Latent Image Collective. The international circle of photographers are a source of inspiration and support for my work, and the feeling of connection with these wonderful artists is something I deeply value. Our group exhibit "Ongoing Conversation," as part of PhotoSummer, was a highlight of the year. Many thanks to my photo-sister Karen Mazur for being there in the trenches with me as we mounted to show.
A huge amount of gratitude goes out to Rocky Norton, who generously opened his studio space to me in October to show my "Covered Cars" series and release my limited edition zine.
Rounding out the year, I was proud to release my book of color photographs from New York City. I am so thankful for everyone who purchased the book. Your support keeps me motivated to create.
2017 has been a year of challenges for most of the world. There are so many social / economic / political issues that are creating divisions, pain and hatred... it is impossible not to be affected by it all. I have felt it as well, and have noticed this pessimism has crept into my work. I am by nature an optimist, but have struggled this year to see the light. This struggle has affected my photography, and the new work I've been focussing on definitely shows it.
I've also been reassessing my relationship with social media. I cannot deny that it has been helpful in my promotion of my photography, especially Facebook. I am so deeply entwined in that platform, that I can't honestly imagine deleting my account. I use it to communicate with my fellow Collective members, I keep up with creatives around the world; the self-publishers, artists, photographers, musicians... not to mention friends near and far. It is double edged sword, but still, the good outweighs the bad...if ever so slightly.
Instagram, on the other hand, is something I need to step away from. I find it too detrimental to my creativity and my self-worth to stay engaged with it. Instagram is like a night at a dance club, hoping you meet someone, but no one even buys you a drink, and all you get are catcalls on the way to your car. It's like going for a quick cheap laugh with a pun, as opposed to writing a 5-minute monologue. It's like eating a handful of Pop Rocks. The pursuit of "likes" is futile and unfulfilling and does nothing but fuck with my ego. I don't need it. So I'm saying goodbye to that. I will most likely leave my page up so folks can stumble upon it, but I just can't add to the endless stream of easily scrollable, easily swiped, easily dismissed images any longer.
I have many ideas to pursue in 2018, but I am too realistic to make any resolutions. Instead, I wrote a list and pinned it to the wall in my office. Things I hope to accomplish. Goals I believe I can achieve. With good health, financial stability, the love and support of my amazing wife, as well as the support of all of you who are reading this, I will take a stab at it. May your new year be one of health and satisfaction and peace.