Reality is a Good Likeness

Reality is a Good Likeness Exhibit

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the mediated truth.

My reality was forever challenged and transformed when, as a young girl of 15, walking home from school, I noticed a familiar print, a simple flowered fabric hanging from our mulberry tree. Odd, I thought. Then, my eyes focused forward and adjusted to the present moment. I saw my house, once warm and safe, transformed into a charred skeleton. Our private belongings were strewn in the street, in the shrubs, in the neighbor’s yard. While I had sat at my desk that day, a simple gas leak had destroyed my home along with generations of mementos.

As my family began the heavy work of piecing together a new reality and searching for keepsakes we would one day pass down to our grandchildren, my beloved aunt would often steal me away for a glorious afternoon matinee. Each time, we were both drawn to the most complex and layered genre of film noir, with all of its twists and turns.

By the time I sought a good Western, white hats versus black hats, my life knowledge had given clarity to the complex human fabric of perception that obfuscates even the simplest of scenes. I didn’t just see noble natives. I saw white men in brown makeup. I saw quaint towns that I knew were false fronts. I saw hopeful citizens attempting to create community in a culture of violence. I saw the gunman leave at the end. I saw myth.

Whether exploring my personal story or that of popular culture, I am at once afflicted and beguiled by the complex nature of human reality. Even the most simple and light occasion, a county fair or a family wedding, has its angles of repose, elation, tension, and darkness.

In each of my series, I examine a different approach to capturing the truth. Some images are left unadulterated, while others have been intentionally manipulated. In each case, I attempt to capture an indiscriminate view of reality.