My photographs are a means of metaphorical expression, a counterpoint to reality. They reshape the world to juxtapose the dark and light elements of the world, where they collide marks the intersection of joy and sorrow. My work is about incongruity, and is rooted in a surrealism that creates beauty from the unexpected. There is intrigue in the unknown, these photographs are a tribute to the mystery that surrounds the unknowable.
I am a self taught artist. My life divides into two parts: being inside the creative process, and getting there. Being inside is the endgame and my unified field: no past, no future, only immersion in the present-- in essence, pure being and a silent joy.
SIMPLICITY Pt 1 2009-2013
Sewing was a large part of our childhood. My mother sewed my dresses. My grandmother made us beautiful shirts with tuxedo pleats and home made button holes. We studied sewing in school while the boys mastered shop. People used to have time to do such basic things, making clothing to keep oneself warm was an essential part of life. Now we buy inexpensive fast fashion, and spend hours on the internet and social media. The images are a commentary on changes in the role of women, and how people spend their time.
Patterns are like the bone structure of clothing. I have taken each pattern and assembled it in a fashion similar to what would have been done with fabric. I love the way the light that illuminates each article often fills the tissue paper form as a body would clothing. The patterns are photographed here as if from a cabinet of curiosities, giving them a resurrected life of their own.
EARTH FRACTALS 2010-12
A tangential line of thought to Winter/Lakeside.
DARK STRUCTURE/Landscapes 2011
Inferred existence. My first love was drawing.
FDR Park is a 350 acre oasis in the southernmost part of Philadelphia. Detached from the Fairmount Park system, like its orphaned child, it is wilderness in the middle of a neighborhood with only a 2% tree cover. It's where I go early each morning to get my daily slice of green and birdsong and to run my white german shepherd. During the winter it is deserted, and the trees and flora-- especially around the lakes-- have a barren beauty. The dry stripped down pulchritude is like an xray of nature that I find exquisite.
The HANDKERCHIEFS of JOSEPH GUIDONE 2010
Six plain white monogrammed 12" square handkerchiefs from the 1940's that belonged to my grandfather. I remember my grandmother washing, ironing and folding them and was inspired by the thoughtfulness, devotion and delicacy in her task. Her gestures have been repeated here in an experimental way.
WITHIN 50' 2008-2010
Objects that surround me, the familiar made unfamiliar and the inanimate made animate.
70’of WOUND STEEL 2007-2008
A tangential line of thought to Within 50'. Interestingly the toy was created by a naval engineer in Philadelphia; while working with tension coils, he accidentally knocked one off the shelf and watched it "walk" down a stack of books. The toy is 70 feet of wound steel. In the photographing I have tried to capture a variety of its "moods"-- playful and humorous, sometimes cold and at times sensual.
A portfolio about recollection and the imperfect way that the mind recalls an experience. I was interested in recording only minimal aspects of place-- color, basic shapes, and light-- which evoked the feeling of memory and the passage of time.
MEMENTO MORI/Mutter Museum 2000-2001
I love pockets of anachronism and the Mutter Museum is one of them. I would like to thank the Museum and especially then curator Gretchen Worden for kindly allowing access to the unusual artifacts. The memories of those shoots-- the friendship I developed with Ms Worden, her cheshire cat smile, the classical music drifting from her "office", the smell of formaldehyde wafting from the exhibition jars, and the "tumor room" which served as my studio-- are uniquely etched in my mind.
Images inspired by the archetypes and concepts of Carl Jung.
HEXAGON+ DRAWINGS 1985-1989/silver gelatin prints + charcoal drawings
MAKING A WORKING DOG 2012-2013
One of the most fascinating things about photographing the training of working dogs is to watch the feral canine emerge. In fact the training is based on the dogs’ prey instinct. Starting at eight weeks, each pup is taunted with leather tug toys or feathery bird-like and furry mouse-like objects that stimulate their drive to track and corner. The dogs progress from watching a person run and hide to their pursuit and find. They search for hidden objects, which get smaller and smaller until only a scent remains. At each successful apprehension, the pup is enthusiastically praised, then rewarded with the holy grail: his favorite toy.
The daily training is repetitive, and the dogs’ movements are so fast that to the human eye nothing dramatic happens. But to the camera, which can record an expression or gesture that only lasts a fraction of a second, a primal emotional and physical narrative is revealed. Dogs are in their element here, doing what they’ve always done well before we domesticated them. The training is a game of hunting, survival and dominance. Over a period of time, the dogs’ focus is honed, on the pursuit and on their handler.
This series has been photographed from the dogs’ point of view. The presence of the handlers is largely invisible, they remain on the edges, only revealed by a set of feet or a disembodied hand, directing the play like guardian angels. But a seasoned handler can command a dog’s attention and catalyze his full potential.
According to the Humane Society, there are approximately 78 million dogs in the United States, with 39 % of households having at least one dog. The estimate for working canines is only 10,000-15,000, they are an elite group that serve.
It was important to balance the humorous and entertaining aspects of the photos with the ominous, keeping in mind the often dangerous tasks that these dogs will be asked to perform: from bomb sniffing and police work to cancer detection and medical alert. And it has been a deeply moving experience to witness the shaping of an adorable pup that is destined for life saving work.