My journey into photography started in 1969 at age 19, when I was given my first 35mm camera to record my travels abroad. But it wasn't until 1998 that I began to combine photography with a new-found interest in painting. I started this mixed media process with the series "Bound and Determined" using images of Chinese women with bound feet, which I'd taken in 1983.
Later I turned to the subterranean landscape of New York for the series "Subway Reflexions." The equalizing nature of the subway, where people from every race, class and ethnicity share a limited space, while shifting between their private and public personas, intrigued and inspired me. In an attempt to capture the motion, the chaotic calm, and the pulsing rush of the subway scene, I utilized the reflections in the windows, the darkness of the tunnels, and the vitality of the platforms to create complex and shifting layers of reality.
By collaging several original photographic images into an imaginary vignette and then painting between and around the photographs, I could materialize a moment-in-time experience that draws the viewer into multiple realities at once. I call this time-lapsed photo-surrealism.
By necessity our brains filter and translate the barrage of images, patterns and designs, which surround us. My goal as an artist is to bring into focus the beauty that the camera records in a split second, despite our mind’s need to absorb and quickly decipher all that incoming information.
In the series, “Blurred Landscapes,” I use the above principles to reflect on the landscapes we rapidly traverse (by train, bus or car) without registering their beauty. At the same time this series is an homage to the magical moments captured by the camera itself, which we miss because our brains so rapidly translate our visions into the more concrete notions of “tree”, “forest” or “stream”.
Photography continues to educate me as I move from one project to the next. I am most grateful.