Hanging in the home of my in-laws was a portrait of my wife, Carol. It was a formal portrait, photographed and hand tinted in oils by the well-known artist Ojeta Briggs. Set in a gold gilded frame, Carol was wearing a deep fuchsia, formal gown, her hair and make-up professionally done, a lovely picture. Carol never liked this photograph, I guess a little embarrassed by its formality, it’s not me.”
Portraiture, by nature, is intended to portray the idealized self, how one wants to be perceived. Shown in the best light with blemishes covered. A snapshot, on the other hand, revels personality and shows you more of “who the person is.”
In “Backside of America” I wanted to explore the little-seen side of a town. The utilitarian side with the metal boxes and electrical wires, the side with sturdy doors and unadorned windows, the side you would see when you go to work. Even in its ruggedness you can see order.