I left small town Rhode Island In 1968, to become an NYU student. I was taking my first art history courses; frequenting the Met and the MOMA - immersing myself in contemporary art and life in the Big Apple. In order to do this, I had to muster the courage, face my fears, and begin riding the subways of New York, which were much rougher than they are today. Learning to steel myself, don a “don't mess with me” mask, I went into the anonymous and eerie underbelly of the city all hours of the day and night.
I’d be in a crowded train and note the multi-ethnic masses crowded in around me. Touching elbows, yet avoiding eye contact, I mingled with fellow commuters of every race, nationality, class and age. So close, so distant, so public, yet so private. I loved the diversity and the polarities, though never would I have braved photographing there.
Now, 40 years later, a longtime California resident, photographing these subways has been like reconnecting with an old friend. I have attempted to capture the motion, the chaotic calm, and the confused serenity of the subway. Incorporating my love of reflection, I utilize the windows, the darkness of the tunnels, and the vitality of the platforms to create complex and shifting layers of reality.
Then, by collaging several images onto a wood panel, and painting them into an imaginary vignette, I can materialize a moment-in-time-experience that holds the viewer in multiple realities at once. I call this time-lapsed photo-surrealism. My hope is to evoke a visceral experience of this dynamic underground world, which represents all humanity.