“Waiting Cold” addresses how ideologies affect the way we live our lives. How do ideals sometimes block what is observable? How do others try to understand the world, and how does that differ from our own attempts? If we hold common ground regardless of the individual principles held, would we be able to recognize it?
To be human is to be a paradox. Celebration tinged with tragedy. Hardship inspiring resilience. Happiness inviting discipline. The state of “human-ness” is a condition of being and becoming. Whatever we are now, we are never fully actualized. Even in youth, we age. We are forever in flux, ever realizing abeyant potential. At any given point, we are any and all of these things simultaneously. The photo series, “Paradox: The Human Condition,” gathers these layers of paradox into two-dimensional stills — snapshots of the “human condition” sampled from different lives. Together, they form a harmonized arc illustrating beginnings and ends, and beginning again.
The following inventory project is intertwined with the pain of restricted freedom of movement in this current health crisis period. From this grounded place, a longing for intimate places outside the confines of the home arises. Each of these images is part of an inventory count of moments that were taken for granted and are no longer so.
In “Ghosts of Venice” we are privy to the inner thoughts of Gil, a man living in Venice Beach. He starts his day trying to mend his relationship with his girlfriend after fighting the night before. Gil has two powerful forces acting within him: his analytical/logical thought system, and his irrational impulses. Gil tries to understand the dynamics of what makes himself and others happy, while ironically causing his own pain. The story asks these fundamental questions: Who are we? Do we choose our identities or are they chosen for us? And, do we get to choose what we want?
“The Ones Who are Left Behind: An Armenian Story” details the close relationship the author had with her great aunt (who witnessed the murder of her family), the author’s search for identity, and a reckoning with a brutal collective past. The essay explores how trauma can travel through generations as the author self-reflects on her struggle to harness her emotions to get better, not bitter. Nestled within this personal essay, there is a universal message of hope and healing from suffering and loss.
“Clean Kitchen” addresses the issues of elder abuse and the devastating effects dementia has on relationships.
The question of “why do we protest”? is easy to answer. When and how we protest are more complicated questions with blurred lines and no easy answers. What are the results from lines crossed or limits reached? How does the severity of the injustice relate to the medium of revolt? In these works, the artist investigates the methods of loud and quiet violence that are the result of public and private suffering. He takes a look at the scene without context, so we may ask “what emotions bring individuals to this point and how do we react upon seeing it expressed”?
The following personal history piece focuses on the author’s journey in the mental healthcare system, through both psychiatry and psychotherapy. It also deals with how stigmatizing and detrimental the system (and the world) can be to those with mental illnesses. This memoir-style essay tells the story of the author’s illness like it’s the big bad wolf, and walks the reader with her on the journey to coping with it. It’s a piece that not only talks about the author’s individual reality, but also the greater reality of the world of psychology, psychiatry, and mental illness.
Once, I was trying to reach some sort of comfort in a rush, so I took a shortcut through a city dump but was struck helpless when confronted by hunger. And I must confess that among those landscapes of trash, I secretly wished that hunger were loud and contagious, like some disease that we are not allowed to ignore.
What are your relationships with food and hunger like?
Written during a trip to London with my husband, this piece documents a pivotal and transformation period of time where I began to rediscover a sense of self by letting go of self. A candid journey inward, questioning what it means to be human, to be a father, to be a gay man, but most importantly to be authentic.