I uploaded this a little while ago, but realized shortly afterward that I had jumped the gun and forgotten to retouch the dust marks off the film. So here it is again, sans distracting dust marks.
But while I was doing this it got me thinking about process, and the myriad of things we do as image makers to achieve a final image that satiates our thirsty mind's eye, that go unnoticed to the end viewer.
I think of all the untold secrets that my photographs have contained in them, that I don't care to ever discuss, and in this way I achieve a sense of intimacy with each and every one of them. Photography is a graceful relationship.
These early rolls of film (2010-2011) would lay the foundation to my understanding of controlled lens flare, and manipulation of colors while shooting. Although my creative process is inherently grounded in serendipity, over the years I've honed my secret technique. It's this constant struggle between wild unpredictability and controlled precision, failure and reward, that keeps me pushing myself in my craft, and keeps me humble.
Each one of my portraits has so many variables: double exposure, reflections, flares, colors, that can throw off the composition so easily, and because of this, I've come to the realization that each successful frame is truly a gift from an enigmatic wellspring that I don't fully comprehend, but try to tap into.
We are living through strange times–a time where people care more about their social currency than the caliber of their character.
Intelligence is discarded in exchange for "influence".
But what is needed is more love, empathy, and art–not likes, followers, and personal brands. We are not personal brands, we are people, people with legacies that need not be corporatized, but actualized.
These are strange times, strange times indeed.
Early works. Self portrait. 2010.
She asked Me what I did for a living, a smug smirk fermenting underneath her bloated self-importance. To which I replied:
"If you were to pick out a piece of scrap wood from a lumber yard and bring it home, grow out your fingernails, and claw at it for a devoted length of time each day, eventually, you'll penetrate its hardness–leaving behind the visible marks of your knuckled-down strain. That's what I do–basically."
"What do you do?" I retorted.
"I'm a real estate agent," she replied.
Although she had accrued a comfortable living, it had become clear to the both of us that her entire life up to that point had been an undisclosed letdown. People spend their lives chasing wealth, status, security like a dog chasing its tail, but in their futile pursuit they lose sight of the truck barreling down the street toward them, apathetic in its course.
Over the western ridge, beyond the hinterlands of the Zoriahex, exists a particular wildwood believed to imbue an early-morning Delphic fog, containing within it the decapitated figure of Tarn Devium Pusa, an enigmatic nymphet fabled to possess areoli of ambrosia–the likes of which I have savored, and exalted with My depravity incarnate.
You have your head in the clouds little girl. What you lack is perspective–a horizon to walk toward, but rather than walk, you drift. And your happily-ever-after will forever be a wispy Fata Morgana because of it.
Those who can make peace with the absurdism of life–that unrelenting chafing that exists between the feeling man and the apathetic universe–are those who will enjoy their ham and eggs in the morning.
Yet, most people choose to eat cereal instead.
Thus spoke, The DragnMastr.
He's a hunter without His prey.
His lips are parched and His stomach is barren. Afflicted with a biting hunger, He paces the tight corridors toward a brighter tomorrow, but tonight, tonight He's run-down, sick, and alone.
Slivers of memory whet His appetite with adrenaline, and the instinct to chase, to pursue, run wild within His pulse. His veins are highways under starlit night skies, and they carry the lifeblood that reinvigorates Her.
She's a crushed starlet without a night's sky as Her theater.
Her past is fogged with anonymous faces, and befouled with the slandering stupidity of dirty erections. Afflicted with desensitized senses, She stares through the tight corridors toward a brighter tomorrow, but tonight, tonight She's bruised, numb, and alone.
Her heartbeat pitapats disharmony that lure the depraved, but Her fists are clenched. She has a thirst for vengeance, but resigns herself to the shadows that crowd around Her.
Their gazes interlock–She and He–and for a moment, even the moon loses sight of Who is preying upon Who.
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
2nd Kings 2:23-24
Think what you will, but We are aristocrats sitting on your thrones. You see, We've conquered the inner maelstrom, and quelled the discriminating gaze that never blinks. Our unapologetic compulsions open doors, of which we infiltrate, without shame, and therein lie Our virtue. Everyone else? Merely plebs, mucking about in their hypocrisy and self-consciousness.
I'd rather be a creep king living in exile, than a groveling peasant living the rest of their days under the unbending rule of social politeness.