Artist Statement from C.G. Boerner Gallery show catalogue
I started taking these photographs to promote a movie I'd made, a low budget independent feature called Beatbox (2016). We didn't have a marketing budget and instead relied on social media outreach. The movie is set in Brooklyn, and I figured pictures of Brooklyn (and its surrounding areas) that evoke the tone of the movie could work as a way of maintaining our presence, particularly on Instagram.
The effectiveness of this strategy could be debated. With the handle @beatboxthemovie there was some confusion if the photos were stills from the film or photos I'd taken myself. But confusion is better than indifference. It can be a precursor to curiosity. So I kept doing it. Also I couldn't stop. My motivation had shifted.
New York City is my hometown. I'd grown up in Brooklyn. I'd moved away for nearly 15 years, but never more than six months passed without a visit. Recently I'd moved back to Brooklyn with my wife. We started a family here, yet it never dawned on me to photograph my surroundings. I took pictures of every other place I visited, but not the place I knew best, my home.
Looking back now I realize that I lacked distance. The guise of my movie and semi-anonymous Instagram handle provided me with enough cover to begin looking at the places closest to me. Essentially I was taking "in character" trying to see the city from the viewpoint of the characters in the movie. It was liberating.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to share these photographs with you in their ultimate form- printed on paper and using my name. I hope you enjoy them as I enjoyed taking them.
AD, September 2019