joe small
Eye of the BeholderOliver and the BulletOne Eye CharlesEdmund an the LeafRupert and the WatchMichelangelo and the CanThe Reach
assembled portraits
I began experimenting with the idea of constructing still lifes with appropriated images and found objects in 2007. Using portraits that I found in used books, I juxtaposed them to organic and man made objects. These assembled portraits are an investigation into the past. Because I feel disconnected from my own past, I often find myself trying to find a relationship between now and then. I strive to find some insight into my own need to understand the past by making still lifes that are a means of self-portraiture. Not only are the actual engravings in the books a portrait, but these photographs are also portraits of the found objects. The objects, like the engravings, have seen the test of time and have survived to see today. By referencing historic paintings and 19th century photography, I hope to further force the viewer to think of their own personal past. Disconnection from the past is a universal feeling that everyone will always feel. By obscuring the face of many of these portraits, I hope to push the viewer to reflect on their own self-image. All these photographs were made by assembling objects on to flat surfaces that I then lit with inexpensive clamp lamps. I used an 8x10 view camera to make large negatives that I would then contact print. All photographs are palladium prints on vellum, which makes the photograph appear more like a drawing or etching.