university of florida > school of art+art history

gradphotoseminar >2006


artist : statement

The photographic work I am presenting represents and characterizes some of my ideas about place and how that concept relates to ideas about the natural world. I intend my pictures to be a commentary on the rationalization and transformation of the place I live, Florida. Since the end of World War II, largely due to a constantly increasing population and government subsidizes, suburbia has exploded across the American landscape. While this phenomenon has given many people the opportunity to own homes and to escape from the problems they face in cities, paradoxically developing suburbanization has consumed and continues to consume large amounts of natural habitat. This has resulted in the degradation of life for all living beings. As humans, we are sacrificing the aesthetics of open places, natural heritage, and resources that have sustained us through all of our existence, and we are trading this for the plenitude of homes, roads, shopping centers, and representations of the natural world. With the fourth largest population in the United States and a thousand people migrating to Florida each day, this pattern couldn’t be more evident.

My work critically explores aspects of our loss of natural habitat to development. More specifically, the work concentrates on the simulations of nature that have occurred in the wake of what local and state officials have propagated as progress. These simulacra consist of plastic and cement animals, modifications and highly controlled segments of nature, and murals of natural landscapes. My interactions in or around these fabricated places or placement of these synthetic animals is my way of communicating my ideas and sharing my discontent with the situation. My approach to the subject matter is satirical and ironic, and I hope my work raises consciousness and questions. My strategy is to seduce the viewer with what at first appear to be traditional, natural and scenic color photographs but that, on further inspection, disclose something that is not quite right. I hope to contribute to the ongoing discourse surrounding human beings use of the land we live on and the short sighted consumerist mind set that allows us to repress and deny the problematic aspects of our land use practices.