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In my photographs, I transform everyday people into characters in romantic and fantastical modern mythology. I work with models from all walks of life–from doctors to sex workers to other artists–and, through extensive post-production, put them into settings of epic proportion. These models are seen through an objectifying gaze which simultaneously casts them as hypermasculine while also allowing them to be vulnerable.
To form the backgrounds of the works, I combine fragments of paintings with my own photographs of landscapes and architectural spaces. This mix of elements creates an out-of-time effect in the works and the models become godlike. Each image has an indeterminate narrative quality, which allows viewers to emotionally connect to the work and give it its final shape.
The work exists between painting and photography and is influenced equally by artists in both disciplines. The compositions and narrative are inspired by Renaissance painters like Jan van Eyck, Michelangelo, and Titian and the style is reminiscent of Baroque painters such as Johann Heinrich Schönfeld-Opferszene, Carvaggio, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. This is combined with the romanticism of photographers like Edward Steichen and Julia Margaret Cameron as well as the hypersexual gaze of Robert Mapplethorpe.
The works, as objects, also straddle these mediums. Some key compositions are re-rendered in oil on canvas, whereas others are encaustic photographs, meaning that the surface is treated with wax and pigment. Both of these processes heighten the depth of the images by building up the surface.
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