As a parent, I'm fascinated by my young children's imaginations. I want to learn what makes them tick. Their drawings provide a window into an inner world that I crave to know better.
I started looking for ways to combine their art with my photography in exploration of this theme. The search led me to look around in public spaces at the way other people document themselves.
The result has been Parallel Play, a collaboration between me, my children and unwitting strangers. In this series, I compare the worlds that adults and my kids create for themselves.
Symbiotic connections form when I superimpose my children's art with photographs of strangers documenting their moments in life. Glimpses into how my kids see their world emerge while viewed alongside of how others want to remember themselves.
California has long been the land of opportunity. In January of 2014, I joined in the great tradition of moving west, uprooting my family from Miami Beach to the San Francisco Bay area. Relocated tells the story of our transition.
Family photos tend to record moments of idealized happiness. Our relocation experience brought on a wide range of feelings drifting among nostalgia, fear, optimism and excitement. As a father and husband, I was interested in exploring my family's reactions to the experience along with my own.
I didn't want to tell a one-sided story. So, I handed a camera to my children in order to engage them in a conversation about our journey. Through a series of environmental portraits, still lifes and landscapes, Relocated connects the viewer with the personal experiences of my family members from both my perspective and their own.
As a traveling consultant, I visited offices in cities across the country. My trips were usually short but repetitive, giving me the chance to experience an office environment as a participant observer. I was not in any one place long enough to have the surroundings feel familiar, so the exploration of space stayed fresh.
As a photographer, I began to record the results of my travels past unintended vistas: walled-in cubicles, stress relief rituals, and spirit-crushing loneliness set to the drone of a building's air conditioner. The stimulation in these environments came via computer screens, stared at by their inhabitants day-in and day-out. Many of these locations had been reduced to occasional meeting points for remote, globalized workforces, causing me to question the present and future role of the physical office.
Taking these photographs gave me the chance to explore my feelings within the contemporary workplace whose emptiness reflected our increased detachment from the physical world, silently losing the connection with the people and places that enrich and enliven us.
Lifeguard Off Duty
After living in Miami Beach, I've noticed that beautiful people aren't the only eye-candy. Twenty nine colorful, unique and practical lifeguard stands dot the beach from South Pointe to 85th street–sixteen of which reside on South Beach. The towers serve not only as workplaces for Ocean Rescue staff, but also as hubs for beach life. This dual role along with their vibrance and iconic stature motivated me to capture the lifeguard stands as a typology and explore the history that surrounds these iconic structures.
Multiple efforts to build and rebuild have resulted in today's lifeguard stands. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the City of Miami Beach commissioned a project to replace the lifeguard stands lost in the storm. Coinciding with the resurgence of the Art Deco district, the city endeavoured to bring an artistic flair to the beach itself. To that end, architect William Lane and artist Kenny Scharf designed new stands with an eye towards practicality and style. Lane's contribution included five lifeguard stands including the Jetsons tower still standing on 10th Street–a collaboration with Scharf. The Jetsons tower epitomizes the unique styling of the lifeguard stands, featuring a futuristic round design, distinctive radio antennae and pink paint job. Additional contributions to the design effort came from both student competitions and the Miami Beach Ocean Rescue staff itself. The project's success spoke for itself as the lifeguard stands quickly became synonymous with life in South Beach. Architecture Magazine quipped that "some of the most memorable new buildings in South Beach are also the smallest." When hurricanes struck again in 2005, the City set out to build stronger, more portable stands. This effort resulted in some of the unique structures standing today such as the Lighthouse at South Pointe and the Star Spangled Banner themed stand on 13th Street. Only two of the original deco lifeguard houses remain today–the Jetsons tower on 10th street and the purple stand on 12th street once referred to as "The Duck."