In these photographs the model and I collaborate on fabricating an imaginative, perhaps illogical, narrative. Details of the sets are carefully planned, yet what finally happens may be wildly improvised. The resulting image undergoes a transformation; resembling what was conceived, yet reinvented into it’s own fanciful scenario. The picture making happens in the subject’s home or studio, so the final story is influenced and directed by their own environment—the make believe scenario allows the subject a certain freedom of expression.
The storytelling, weighty tonality, and formalized composition of historical paintings are an inspiration and point of departure. I use dramatic lighting to exaggerate mood and spurious shadows to discomfit the viewer. The tableaux always show actual light sources, which may be visual distractions, creating a kind of contradictory formal style. As the pictures use a methodology reminiscent of the past and simultaneously are quite contemporary, they seem to freeze and elongate time.
My subjects use gesture and expression to chronicle their imagined activities. They greatly influence these portraits with their ideas, their attitude, and their generosity of character before the camera. This process is very much a collaboration for which I take the credit. Hence the name, Stolen Portraits.