Concealed Reality (Abstract)
Since it’s inception, the photograph serves as a visual record understood by all humankind.
It exposes a universal language without a speaking a single word. It has the ability to unite or divide the world. It’s interpretation, is ultimately the manifestation of our own experience and memory.
In the first quarter of the 20th Century, Alfred Stieglitz created a photographic body of work entitled “Songs of the Sky”. It was his intent for the viewer to respond only to the abstract qualities of the cloud forms. Their title associates these images of clouds to music, revealing Stieglitz’s intent to link the clouds to music and to use music’s inherently abstract nature to underscore the abstract qualities of the cloud formations. The core of this concept is what Stieglitz called “Equivalence”. This word pertains to the photograph itself, the visible foundations of any potential visual experience with the photograph itself. It is not identified by any particular style, appearance or trend. Equivalence is a function, an experience, not a thing.
If a viewer realizes that for him, what he sees in a picture corresponds to something within himself - that is the photograph mirrors something in himself - then his experience is some degree of Equivalence.
Drawing upon influence of the “Equivalence,” my explorations of Detroit have led me to the abstract brushstrokes intentionally painted on buildings (abandoned and not), walls, fences and truck trailers. I am fascinated by this active attempt to cover something that lies underneath or possibly to reveal something new. What secrets are concealed beneath the layers of paint? How does this altered layer bring forth a new interpretation? Is the intent of this altered surface evidence of improvement or defacement? As a society we spend a fortune buying products to mask, layer, cover and embellish our face and body. Concealing and possibly protecting the core of who we are. Revealing who we want the world to see - actual or fictitious.
When we transform this foundation we open up new opportunities for interpretation. Using Detroit as a subject, it is my intent to use this abstract visual, commonly associated with graffiti or abandonment to engage the viewer in a personal experience, therefore, redefining Detroit.