Do Not Feed Alligators : like many other rules of its kind, it reads as a warning, an invitation to caution. But for the curious, inquisitive mind, such notions always provoke the opposite reaction : ‘feed the alligators’, ‘press the red button’—touch whatever it was that was meant not to be touched. In a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign, an open-ended proposition to boldly go towards the realms of the unexpected and the unexplored. A photographer’s mind is, by definition, a thing of tremendous curiousness. Its default mode of voyeuristic observation, undresses codes and addresses veils, capturing emotional charge in the glimpse of a fleeting moment or extreme beauty in everyday ugliness. Through the photographer’s lens, the ephemeral endures at last—summers are for once endless, and road trips live on forever, driving into the red dust of a distant horizon.
A lover of dirt, old stuff and warm sunlight, David Shama captures, in a curated yet seductive visual language anchored in frank simplicity, that vast endlessness through sleepy gazes, candid portraits and greasy diner fries. Romanticizing the unpretentious nature of the quotidian, Do Not Feed Alligators is pared back and honest ; unhinged from constraints ; and fresh for its unwavering openness of mind.
It is at once broad yet extremely personal, tinged with a hint of nostalgic storytelling that invites you to connect with the unknown subject or landscape as if it was a familiar part of your own history. At last, its images read like a diary, innocent and sincere in their portrayal of the intimate, the spatial and the experiential. A moment away from home, in a perennial sense of movement—new landscapes and new faces collide, in an ever-shifting patchwork of candid humanity.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Do Not Feed Alligators feels incomplete — a suggestion that the journey carries on ; a sentence left unfinished yet appealing all the same for its use of an unspoken poetic license. Powered by a will to tickle the imagination and to leave things unsaid and open to interpretation, Do Not Feed Alligators is ultimately an invitation into the world of its maker, a celebration of a youthful gaze and an enticement for the curious mind. All at once playful and poignant, it reminds us of the importance of the small moments : when we touch whatever it was that was not meant to be touched, when we press the glowing red button, when we feed the alligators. When we boldly go, to the realms of the unexplored. When we pause, we ponder, and we decide anyway to go against the grain and swim against the current
Davis Shama – Do Not Feed Alligators
Published by Damiani Editore