“Boring” represented an important stage in my evolution from painter to photographer to artist who works to put images on paper. For those interested in artistic development and technique, I offer the following four observations:
I continue to be influenced by photographers Michael Meads and Nan Goldin. Where my earlier work, such as “M Series” (2003), combined social documentary and creative portraiture to explore an individual persona, “Boring” is broader and attempts to explore interpersonal dynamics and scene.
“Boring” also represents a development of technique. The photographs in “Speed of Light” (2005) employ the visual strategies of abstract painting to manifest images of light and color where the kinetic interplay offers the viewer a sense of emotionality. “Boring” represents an application of those strategies to work with a definitive subject and narrative.
“Boring” is the most personal work I have produced to date. While it is not the first time I have turned the camera on my private life–I often take photographs of friends, lovers, and partners in various states of partying and play–it is the first time I have considered such work strong enough to have meaning to those not immediately attached to it. As such, a personal statement is included.
By nature, I am not a collaborator. While I value critical feedback of others, I prefer working alone, controlling a project, and ultimately being responsible for its successes and failures. But without intending to do so on their part, this work is significantly informed by the art and aesthetic of Danny Buchanan, whose nonlinear narrative collage paintings appear in some of the photographs, and Pet Shop Boys, whose lyrics provided me a vernacular with which to tell a story.
I hadn’t met Danny in person before, but we talked a lot over a few months and found we had art and a mutual attraction in common.
You have to meet Danny to understand him. He is full of contradictions: part art mafiosi, part redneck; a butch fashionista; and, perhaps, the most sensitive guy’s guy I’ve ever met. He has an incredible sense of aesthetic, a yearn for beautiful things, an unbending view of the world, a rich passion and spirit.
Danny had a few days off. I was looking for something. He invited me to Toronto for a few days to hang out. On my second night, we went to the Drake Hotel for a concert and art/film party. Afterwards, we made our way to Boystown and met up with Adam and Brent. The bars close early in Toronto. The four of us ended up at Danny’s where we were joined by two women who talked a lot but didn’t stay long.
I snapped pictures while we drank beer and smoked and listened to Adam’s stories of cum-stained blue cardigans and getting gay bashed with a napkin. Danny hovered around getting up every few minutes to DJ.
With the women gone, the boys got into me taking pictures. Danny pulled out a bunch of clothes. Adam took off his pants and put on this flannel grey coat. Brent found a muscle shirt he liked and put that on, then he and Danny argued who looked better in it. The rest is in the pictures.
On the drive back to Montreal, I felt like I had spent a few days in a Pet Shop Boys song: cabbing around the city making the scenes, having short sharp cell phone calls to coordinate the effort, seeing and being seen, friends arguing with friends, small talk, getting sized up, making contact, and a complicated set of love-lust emotions for Danny. It seemed right to title the photographs with quotes from their lyrics.
The thirty-four page folio contains twenty-five images plus personal and artist statements and title pages. Each image is 4″x4″ on 5″x7″ paper. The folio is presented loose in a navy-coloured box. The edition is limited to one hundred and each folio is numbered, signed, and contains a certificate. The folio was published in 2005.
November 2005, Second Floor (Toronto)
January 2006, Kasini House Gallery-at-Large (Montreal)