2012, Hold On To Your Pants.
I’m all about New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I learn how to surf. I learn how to cook less like a bachelor. I am going to push my photography past my own comfort zone. I want to be more decisive. I want to take more risks. Which leads us here…
I’m not entirely who I say I am. For the last year I’ve been making photos and posting them under an alias. In the beginning, I was making this work and really enjoying it but not posting it because I was also trying to land jobs in Memphis, TN, (which is rather conservative) and I felt like some of my clients wouldn’t appreciate photos of their sunglasses or what have you next to someone drooling or pig intestines or whatever. So I launched another website, another Facebook page, another Tumblr, another blog. And, honestly, I was really getting into the idea of being two people. The secret aspect of it was really cool, like being a super hero or a spy, and in some ways being someone else pushed me to try things in different ways because, really, when you don’t exist, there are no expectations and no limits.
But the truth was/is, I was trying to jam myself (Chris) into a market and niche in which I did not belong. Thusly, I feel like the work and the inspiration for creating content for the CultNoir website suffered while I was really into making work which I thought was successful and strong under another name. Another name that, largely, no one knew about. The more I made work under this name, the more I realized that was the work I wanted to make, and Chris was slowly becoming the alter ego. When I made it to Los Angeles, I realized that no one cares what you do. This is partially the reason I am here…this is a place where it’s so fucking weird that no one really bats an eye. (Thankfully.) So when I began marketing myself here, I found myself making excuses as to why I was two people…or passing out two business cards, going into some explanation while people’s eyes glassed over. It’s too much work to be two different photographers.
To paraphrase author/musician Carl King: “It’s hard enough being yourself. Don’t try to be different things around different people.” I no longer wish to be a mild mannered photographer during the day and an eccentric, obsessed, photographer by night. I just want to be who I am which is both sides of the coin. I can make pretty images of whatever to please clients and modeling agencies, and I can make work that is powerful and relevant that I am wildly passionate about and be the same person. Life is too short, as they say.
So, today I am combining the work. Well, most of it. There are a few things I will keep separate as I make the transition into one photographer. Some of the photos are a little tough for some people so I may drag those sets out a bit. My friend Hamlett told me that I didn’t make work that was widely accessible and that it was going to take time for people to get used to it. And maybe it will. I make raw, energetic, purposeful and sometimes erotic images that I hope people will eventually relate to, if not immediately.
For those of you that have helped me enjoy my alter-ego while playing along and keeping it a secret, I really appreciate it. Everyone should try it. It has allowed me so much more creative latitude when I could tell myself none of it was real. But really, that’s the point of being an artist. Constantly pushing, constantly edging out of the safe areas, and maybe an all out denial that none of it’s real anyways.
Wishing you all an exciting, amazing, and boundless 2012.