When I first saw the photographs of Sally Mann, I was intrigued and touched by the way she portrays her own children. She documents the everyday, graceless events of the developing body in a succinct way that tells a story.
My work is about the human body's transformation from childhood to adulthood. In particular, my work focuses on the preadolescent and adolescent growth of my children. The time that one grows from childhood to adulthood is precious because it is a point of tremendous change for both the body and the mind. This moment of development in a child's life can affect his/her body self-confidence into adulthood.
I perceive the physical awkwardness of the preadolescent stage as something very elegant and beautiful. My works share similarities with the works of photographer, Dianne Arbus, who brought elegance, grace, and humanity to a taboo subject matter. Just as Arbus investigated the awkwardness of the deformed human body, I am interested in investigating the uncertainties and experiences that young children go through with their own bodies as they approach adulthood. I see the stages that a body goes through as a moment in which a child’s body experiences material shapes that give one his/her identity as an adult. These material shapes are a strong part of my imagery.
Much of my artwork is photo-based manipulated works in Adobe Photoshop merged with hand-drawings and output as either hand-pulled prints or ink-jet digital prints. I combine mediums of drawing, printmaking and the computer to get the results that I am most satisfied with. Although I do use the computer quite extensively in my imagery, drawing is still very important. My drawings reveal marks of my own hand; they pare down to just the surface and the mark of the tool.
I find very large work has an interesting psychological impact on my audience. There is something very confrontational about life-size work, and the gangly limbs of a growing pre-adolescent body seem even more so if presented as life-size or larger-than-life. Presenting such an intimate subject matter as the adolescent body in a large format creates a similar discomfort for the audience to experience; the same awkwardness that a young child feels about his/her growing body.
I hope to make people appreciative of this precious and brief moment in a child’s life.