Water Portraits and Self Portraits

Are We Drowning?

When I was in my early twenties I almost drowned while swimming across a lake, but fortunately I was buoyed up and saved by some fellow swimmers. However, in those few moments as I was going down, I felt for the first time the imminence of death. As a result, I developed an artistic obsession with water and photographs in or about water and the forces of water became a central theme in several bodies of my work.

As I and my subjects hover uncomfortably at the water-line, the viewer of my self-portraits and portraits may have existential questions about personal identity and how we know who we are by the signifiers of our facial features which become malleable in the fluid medium of water. The cognitive dissonance of the beautiful colors and disturbing sometimes grotesque distortions of the faces adds to the feeling of disquieting tension and uncertainty. So even as I love water and the beautiful distortions I see through its surface, I am aware of the dangers of water which are always present and are always a subtext of my visual discoveries.