Artist’s Statement

My inspiration comes from traditional ideas of the Grotesque combined with a bit of Southern
Gothic flare. I feel the two notions work well together because of the shared themes of macabre
and uncomfortable subject matter. I have reserved the Grotesque for my portrait work and
explore Southern Gothic through travel and documentary photography.

Maintaining the classic idea of the Grotesque, combination of human with non-human elements,
I want my portraits to convey a range of feelings. Each image is different and has a personality
all its own. I try to have a mix of: light, funny, disturbing, twisted, gruesome, dreamy, mystical,
or even confusing images. I consider a piece to be successful if it evokes a reaction from the
viewer. It is important that a connection exists between the viewer and my work. I find
grotesques very unique because of the range of reactions they seem to evoke. Currently all of
my grotesque portraits have been created in the darkroom.

Southern Gothic, while traditionally a literary term, is a theme I am very interested in expressing
visually. I have chosen to do so by exploring and documenting bizarre roadside attractions.
When I was a child, my family drove everywhere for vacations, and I wanted to capture part of
that experience with my work. As more families choose to fly, or to take “stay-cations,” the
great American road trip has fallen by the wayside, and the crazy, memorable roadside
attractions have fallen along with it. I have to admit a personal fascination with these junky,
weird, over-the-top tourist traps. The bright colors, peeling paint, and generally bizarre themes
(which at times seem to have nothing at all to do with their locations–or anything else for that
matter) fascinate me. One has to wonder what sort of person decided to create these attractions.
I hope to show the former glory, as well as a bit of the distortion and cultural character, of these
attractions.