Subject and Object
As you walk the streets of Los Angeles, especially Downtown near the vicinity of Skid Row, you can't help but encounter the homeless. There are countless standing on street corners, lying in doorways, sprawled across the sidewalk, shuffling down the street, reading newspapers, sharing a joke with friends, or looking for the means to purchase a meal or a cup of coffee. For most the encounter is hurried and inconsequential. Some passersby give what they can, even if it's only a smile, while others treat these denizens of the street not so much with disdain, but objectification. A boy with one arm sleeps on the sidewalk covered in dirt and scabs, a glittering tennis bracelet around his wrist, a piece of gold cloth wrapped around his arm. People walk by or step over him without a glance as if he were no more than a stone. An invisible man stands over a garbage can eating a sandwich, muttering to the voices in his head. His hand is covered in filth, but his finger still bears the chipped ring from a previous life. Then there's the wraith with the wild eyes, smoke pouring from his nostrils, his thumb blackened from a crack pipe. He too is just another thing floating through the city, unmoored. While photographing street portraits over the last year, I decided to explore the notion of subject and object, turning subject into object. By abstracting the subject, I am able to strip their humanity away, as happens every day. All elements are photographs, and no virtual objects or computer generated images were used. Each sphere was made from the actual portrait of the subject.