This series began in the summer of 2017 and is an ongoing documentation of eccentric, colorful life of Manhattan.
Thickets is an ongoing project centered around the invasive plant, Kudzu, and its eerie, abstract shape and form. This particular series is photographed through the Hudson Valley of New York along the Hudson River. A dense deciduous forest is now quickly being overtaken and choked by the invasion of the Kudzu, which starves the surrounding trees of sunlight and water. Kudzu grows very rapidly at roughly a foot per day during the summer months.
As I walk through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Spain, I notice a man on the corner who was scanning the streets with deep intensity. Hunting for something. I begin to photograph him and he did not even notice me as he was so focused.
Down the alley I hear a firecracker explode and the man turns to two children who were throwing it at him. He began to slowly walk towards them, increasing to a swift pace, hands behind his back. He began to chase the group of children to a nearby park.
I manage to catch up with them about ten minutes later (and somehow in this timeframe the man changed his sweater) when I hear more firecrackers. Now six children gathered together to throw fireworks and sand at the crazed looking man, who in return proceeded to pick up a broken piece of concrete and began chasing the children all over the park throwing water and rocks at anyone in his path - all the while being barraged by ammunition.
After the police were called, he eventually calmed down and I was able to talk to the children to find out what was happening. They kept saying he is “El Lobo” or “The Wolf”. He is loco. He is the crazy man from Pakistan and they are at war with him. He harasses all the kids in the neighborhood and he is their enemy.
In June of 2017, I began a road trip through a rural area along the Mississippi River through three states - Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This small area of about ten counties had a major determining factor in the 2016 Presidential Election. For decades, these rural counties voted overwhelmingly with Democrats. However, in the most recent election, this area made a substantial change in voting demographic and turned out to be a major factor in the election of President Donald Trump. I wanted to understand why there was such a huge shift in political opinion.
As I traveled around rural farmlands and small river towns, I quickly discovered through conducted interviews that young people were leaving as soon as they could and heading for cities. This left many towns in economic collapse. Abandoned storefronts, closing public schools, dying industry towns that were once thriving. This area feels heavily influenced by church, Super Walmarts, and monopolizing agricultural giants. A local economy seems almost nonexistent.
Within Walking Distance
I began making black and white photographs documenting the avenues and streets of New York City in summer 2012. Everyday I would walk the streets within distance of my home in Harlem, photographing all of the city’s amazing moments. Inspired by many of the great street/documentary photographer’s of the 19th and 20th centuries, I attempt to make timeless images in a similar vein as history’s greatest artists by simultaneously capturing emotionally provoking images mixed with fundamental light, shape, and form - Considering geometry and symmetry of highest importance in creating a personal documentation of New York City.
I have always been interested in the idea of growing older in New York City. To me, hailing from the Midwest, it has always looked difficult and unique. I am constantly curious about children and what it must be like to grow up in the largest city in the country. Similarly, the idea of growing old in New York terrifies me. This series is an exploration of the young and the old and how they interact within their public environment in one of the most chaotic urban environments in the world.