WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BFA PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM AT PARSONS AND HOW’S IT GOING SO FAR?
Strangely enough, I actually originally applied to Parsons because of the school’s impressive fashion department and strong academic reputation. I was very sure for a long time that I wanted to do fashion photography. Ironically, being at Parsons has shown me that fashion isn’t my path at all, and that I’m actually far more passionate about conceptual and interdisciplinary work. So far, it’s been a fantastic experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS AND WHY?
I think I have to say that Thesis is my favorite class, because it has become such a huge, integral part of my life, both personally and artistically. There is a closeness between everyone in Thesis, and I believe that’s due to how much and how intensely we interact on a day-to-day basis. It’s more than a class, to me.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
Photography has been a very strong presence in my life since I can remember. My grandmother is always taking pictures of our family, to the point where we joke about being the most well-documented family in America. Her father was also a photographer, and made very interesting photographs as well. I went to a public arts school in Denver, where I was fortunate enough to get the chance to go on a trip to Japan. On that trip, we visited a tremendously beautiful place called the Hakone Sculpture garden. It was there that I discovered how much I loved the transformative and translative properties of photography – that one thing could be transfigured into another – this process was very interesting to me.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN TEN YEARS? WHAT ARE YOUR PRIMARY GOALS?
Ten years? That’s terrifying to think about. But I do have some strong ambitions. After interning at and experiencing a lot of non-profit art spaces, galleries, and collectives, I’m interested in pursuing a career in one of these areas in some capacity. What I like about the non-profit art world is that it is so much freer from the confines of the commercial art world; it does not need to follow market trends or appeal to the rich in order to function… no offense to the commercial art world. Non-profits take a lot more risks, because they can, and are interested in helping emerging artists get exposure, which I really like – I think there are a lot of artists out there who are making fascinating and important work that isn’t being shown in the mainstream art world because it’s less accessible. So being able to promote and nurture that work is very rewarding. Aside from that, I’ve been working on a local artist group in my neighborhood, and we’re working on putting together shows and forming an art space as well. Of course, I will also always be making work, too. I’d love to do residency programs and have my work shown.
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SPARK YOUR IDEAS?
Poetry (and poetics outside of literary poetry), philosophy, nature, conversation, human connection, and experiencing very honest work; the work of other artists is incredibly important. I have this sense, maybe it’s a combination of personal aesthetic and intuition, that one can tell when work Is honest. There’s something incredibly wonderful and amazing about work that is well-executed and true. Somewhere in there is the pinnacle of human expression. My interest in photography is a philosophical one, and I like to explore each medium as metaphor.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU AS AN ARTIST? AND WHAT ARTISTS HAVE INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST?
I find a lot of things that inspire me and influence me don’t often show up in my actual work, strangely enough. There are metaphysical, intangible things that I consume and absorb that find their way into my work, though they may not necessarily be easily identifiable. Opera, for example, is a tremendous inspiration to me, but I am not a musician; I think the coordination and orchestration of multiple parts to make a comprehensive whole is a seductive concept to me, that shows clearly in opera. Nature is also a source of inspiration and energy for me. The work of poets and philosophers are the things that really help me jostle my brain from stagnancy. In terms of visual artists, I am very inspired by the work of Jenny Holzer, Wolfgang Laib, Cy Twombly, Martin Puryear, Monika Grzymala,Wolfgang Tillmans, William Kentridge, On Kawara… all of these artists and others strongly influence my own practice in individual ways.