Bringing to light some work from this spring, there’s a new short series on my site simply entitled Oak Hill West.
At the end of June I spent some time in South Bend, Indiana wandering town, talking to the mayor and exploring the renovated and repurposed Union Station, now host to “the cloud” and also a bit of time in the old Studebaker plant. I was there making pictures for a story by NPR’s Sonari Glinton about the town’s attempt at moving beyond the post-industrial decay that’s not too hard to find. Story, with slideshow of photos, can be seen here.
I recently did an interview about some of my work from the Loop for Don/Dean – a blog run by some Chicago art students. It was good to try and verbalize what the work is about. It’s been over two years since I started randomly making trips and I finally feel like I’m starting to wrap my head around the work in a coherent way for the first time – which really means it’s just beginning I guess.
Other than that, I’m currently editing a new piece I made for NPR and in the middle of a good bit of travel, though it should end soon. I’m very anxious to start really editing my work from New Zealand.
Earlier this spring I spent some time with Chief Keef and his crew making a few photographs for The FADER. This kid is blowing up. The afternoon I spent there saw LA based rapper/character Riff Raff in Keef’s place (well, Keef’s grandma’s place where he was holed up due to being under house arrest) working on a track with him as well as other folks stopping through for various reasons. More images to come later.
Some of my work from my time spent photographing and living with those involved in the sustainable forestry industry will be showing again soon. The opening reception for the Celebrate Forests exhibition will be on June 4th at 6:30pm at Frostburg State University’s Roper Arts Gallery in Frostburg, Maryland. The exhibit will be in conjunction with the Society for Economic Botany annual conference. If you are in the area please stop by. The show also includes work by some dear friends of mine Josh Birnbaum and Pradeep Edussuriya.
It’s been busy since I got home from New Zealand last month.
I’m going to Costa Rica tomorrow morning for a few days. When I get back I’m headed to LOOK3 in Virginia, but a week early because I was awarded a scholarship to attend the street photography workshop with Bruce Gilden. I’m excited about the opportunity to attend this workshop and I’m also excited to get my life in order so that I can get back into the Loop and make some photographs again. Besides these upcoming trips I’ve been busy doing work for some of my favorite magazines and some new clients. Happy to have worked with Monocle, The FADER and Chicago Magazine of late. When I wasn’t working on that stuff I’ve been looking for a new house to move into, which I will be shuttling all of my things into while I’m not working or traveling this month.
Also lately I’ve spent a good portion of this month editing and making prints for those amazing folks who backed my Kickstarter project, but I haven’t really gotten into the editing of the project in it’s final intended form yet. I am hoping to really buckle down and do this during the month of July. I’ve been apprehensive to edit this project right away for a few reasons, the first and most important one being that I want to remove myself from the work a bit. Being in New Zealand was a bit of an emotional experience for me and while I don’t want remove myself entirely from the project, I do need to be a little bit more objective before I tackle the work.
If you need me soon I’d be happy to work with you but I’ll be sort of all over the place:
May 25-28: Costa Rica
June 1-10: On the road/Ohio/Virginia
June 15-17: Indianapolis
As far as online publications go – Guernica is one of my favorites. This month they decided to publish an excerpt of my Bryan House project and I’m happy that the story will get out there even more. It’s been a minute since I last photographed the organization but they are doing well and have even acquired another building.
I’m back home in Chicago trying to shake off jet lag, at this point with measured success. If you’re an editor who needs some good ol’ Midwestern picutres and you happen to see this please make note that I am around again, and if you’re a friend (or editor, hey why not!) please make note and let’s go get some whiskey or tea.
In a few days I’ll be back home. It’s going to be tough. Last time I was in New Zealand I was here for nearly six months, and this time just 10 weeks. Still, this visit has been much more immersive. Instead of surfing and going to university I’ve been meeting with lifelong residents and talking to them for hours. While it’s been a great trip it hasn’t been a vacation in the least. The last week or two that I had hoped to spend backpacking was spent shooting more and tying up any loose ends I could think of for this project, which was probably a better way to spend the time.
It’s funny, but I was probably ready to come home more three or four weeks ago than I am now. I’m at that point where I’m starting to feel like this is my life…just in time to get ripped out of it and jetlagged all over again. The picture above – my flatmate Bex, and her partner Quentin, an awesome professional snowboarder, have been great hosts and gave me a place that feels like home. I also have to give a shout out to Crossfit Christchurch who’s awesome coaches and members provided a great place to blow off steam after some of the rougher days of working. They even offered to drive me to the airport.
I will miss NZ but I feel more than ever that I will be back, and it won’t be an eight year gap next time.
In January I headed to R.S. Owens in Chicago (where they manufacture the Oscar trophies) for the Financial Times Magazine. The piece can be seen online here and is an interesting expose looking what’s left of U.S. manufacturing using R.S. Owens as one example. I hope that the gracious and diligent people I met there have their jobs for a good while but there’s no telling how things will go.