Wrinkled Hornbill-Endangered

Artist Statements

Code Red

My Code Red photography series responds to the global climate crisis and puts a spotlight on Earth's mass species extinction. The images reflect humanity's impact on nature and serve as a call to action to help save our planet's biodiversity.

The rate of species extinction is accelerating due to climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and poaching. I utilize the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List to determine which plants and animals are vulnerable or endangered globally and NatureServe to determine which species are vulnerable or imperiled in the Americas.

Warming temperatures and pollution hinder habitats for numerous species and contribute to the rapid decline of biodiversity. Protecting and restoring biodiversity is extremely important for our survival. High biodiversity levels keep our air and water clean, act as barriers between us and diseases, and keep interconnected ecosystems resilient and balanced.

My art process illustrates our deteriorating and polluted environment through experimental techniques applied to my own photographs. The series also emphasizes conservation efforts and our interrelationship with nature. I hope there will be transformative changes through collective action to ensure a sustainable world for present and future generations.

A portion of all print sales will be donated to non-profit groups making a positive difference in nature conservation and preservation.

Scorched

My Scorched series documents the devastating wildfire burn scars in Colorado. Forests are becoming drier and more susceptible to mega wildfires as temperatures rise. 2020 saw the three most destructive wildfires in the state's history, fueled by drought and exacerbated by climate change. The images also illuminate nature's resilience by documenting the burnt landscape's post-fire regeneration. This series is part of my portfolio of images that examine human impact on the natural world.

Human negligence and arson are the cause of most wildfires in the US. The processing of my images mimics the destruction of nature by humans, and I purposefully destroy film negatives to reflect this wreckage.

In ecological succession, the land and plants move through ecological stages to return to a balanced state. During wildfires, the nutrients from dead trees return to the soil. The forest floor is open to more sunlight, allowing seedlings to grow. Years after the fires, I revisited wildfire burn scars to document the regenerating forest and witnessed super blooms of wildflowers scattered throughout the scorched forests. I am reminded of nature's endurance and beauty.

Truth Effect

My Truth Effect series responds to the deep divisions in the US and abroad caused by conspiracy theories and disinformation and also examines our ever-increasing reliance on the internet for information and social engagement. The series also reflects on AI-generated deepfakes and the possible consequences of being unable to separate truth from fiction.

Fueled by the digital world, alternate realities are so pervasive that countless families have been fractured by them. I am reminded of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Matrix where separating what is real from what is illusory is key to achieving peace and unity.

The collages are created with my own photographs and include shadow self-portraits that capture some of the collective anxiety felt during the pandemic, January 6th insurrection, and the Russian-Ukrainian/ Israel-Hamas wars.

Scientific studies show that disinformation on the internet spreads faster and broader than the truth. The Illusory Truth Effect is the tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure. Researchers state that critical thinking, fact-checking, and forewarning people about how the Truth Effect is used to manipulate audiences can reduce its power.

Stay-at Home Order

The photographs in my Stay-at-Home Order series were taken at our suburban home in Colorado during the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home and Safer-at-Home orders. My daughter Sophie is an only child, so I encouraged imaginative play to fill her social void. Taking photos allowed us to work together on a creative endeavor and for her to learn about photography. The images also display the march of time through subtle changes in Sophie as she grows up during the pandemic.

The photographs reflect some of the angst felt during this historic time but offer brief escapes from reality through creativity and imagination. Trees are a common theme throughout the series and symbolize growth, endurance, and strength. They also show the passage of time through the changing seasons.

American Mosaic

My American Mosaic portrait series celebrates America's rich multicultural heritage and traditions. The photographs illustrate the beauty of a diverse society and explore identity and self-expression.

I have attended many multicultural celebrations and festivals in Colorado to find the individuals in this series all proudly wearing their own traditional dress. It has been an incredible photographic journey that has enabled me to meet many remarkable people whose ancestry spans the globe. All the photos in this series were taken on location at the celebrations and then digitally processed afterward for cohesiveness.

My goals for the project are to help preserve ancient traditions passed down through the generations and to encourage cross-cultural understanding, intercultural dialogue, and harmony.

Crop Circles

My Crop Circles series explores human impact on the environment and symbolizes a connection to the cosmos that fosters an examination of our place and significance in the universe.

The collage images were created with my own aerial cropland images, plus found images of mysterious crop circles. The color pallet was inspired by images from a NASA satellite instrument used in crop forecasting.

Sixty years of intensive farming practices using pivot-center irrigation crop circles have depleted parts of the Ogallala Aquifer, causing once-fertile lands to turn arid. New farming innovation that restores Earth's critical imbalances is crucial to ensure a healthy planet. Over the past century, there has been an astonishing amount of technological and scientific progress, but the need to evolve in harmony with nature is vital to our survival.

NYC Days

My NYC Days series was photographed when I lived in Manhattan from 2000 to 2011 and captured a whimsical side of the Big Apple. There is a strong focus on art elements, and some images also challenge perception through fragmentation or reflections. Many legendary New York City photographers, including Saul Leiter, Lee Friedlander, and Lisette Model, inspired the work.

I photographed performers, street scenes, and events throughout the five boroughs with the city as my backdrop. The photographs reveal the creativity, energy, and, occasionally, the absurdity of my New York City encounters.