Deconstructing Unfreedom With Contemporary Printmaking
Growing up captive in a religious cult allowed me to emerge into the world with an adult mind unsullied by popular belief. I use this as a lens for examining concepts of gender, race, and socio-economic power from a different perspective.
I developed photo composition as a contemporary printmaking medium. I build a massive digital file with dozens of photos and effects layers in Adobe Photoshop in the way that a traditional printmaker might carve a wood block to create a detailed image, or prepare multiple matrices for layers of color in a lithograph. Once I have combined all of the layers digitally, the file can be sent to a pigment inkjet printer that produces the printed work on watercolor rag. This process is a way for me to connect and integrate dozens of separate photographs within one print that recontextualizes and re-examines them.
In addition to photographing nature as a primary backdrop for my compositions, I also take photos of found objects and abandoned industrial structures. My exploration of unfreedom incorporates classical statuary and architecture to explore how they permeate material culture as symbols of white superiority and socio-economic dominance. Many of my photos are landmarks I have visited or artifacts I have held that are actually linked to chattel slavery.
For each work sample, I have uploaded a resized copy of the digital file containing all of the combined photo and effects layers for printing.