From June 22nd thru July 23rd, I will be on a cross country tour with the band We Were Skeletons. My work consists mostly of travel documentation and short prose/ poetry. I will be offering 4×6 color prints, sent as a postcard, with an original poem on the back mailed to your home from the road. Each postcard will cost five dollars. I have set up a paypal account to make it easy, just send money to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also please include the address you would like your postcard mailed to.
Senior year has begun, which means thesis. On my road trip this summer I produced 50 rolls of film, which I have already begun making work prints from. A few other endeavors are underway as well, including but not limited too; road trips, chap books, tattoos, & maybe some photographs thrown into the mix.
In starting my own venture into a hopefuly ongoing relatively large body of work, I have been viewing as many photographers as possible & what falls is a smattering of images that have caught my eye.
I know this is all over the place, but there will be more updates soon. We have had a couple more people join & a zine of sorts is on the horizon, so please keep checking back.
Itchy feet, wandering thoughts, bags not being used to their full potential; you got it, I’m still restless and aching to be somewhere else. Well today I have a healthy dose of imagery to help trick your mind into maybe making it another few days.
First up is the trusty old Ed Templeton. One of my favorite skaters through out my youth, about two years ago I started hearing his name pop up & it sounded familiar. With a little research I discovered he had been photographing for years, documenting skate tours & his everyday life. Wayward youths, promiscuous couples, & bloodied gnarled bodies, how could you not be intrigued & want to dive head first into his work. His books The Golden Age of Neglect & Deformer are suburban scrapbooks blown to bits. Full of color images literally stacked on the pages, handwritten notes, & contrasty gritty black & white photos, his books serve as documents of a life that you’re not sure you should be jealous of, or not.
& as a footnote to his photos, I recently found a six part video interview conducted in the gallery of a current show. He muses about his work, youth, & why he does what he does. It’s an interesting insight into his working methods & reasonings.
Jeff Luker’s photographs come from the same league as Templetons, his subject matter just seems to hint at a longer life span. Photos of exploration & travel, of course I was immediately drawn to his work. A Portlander with what seems a travelbug much like my own, his photos bittersweet & nostalgic, fireworks & punk shows, bonfires & bike rides & camping trips of youth, its just that Luker & his friends are in their twenties. His body of work just begs for questions about responsibility and exploration & when if ever you have to grow up, it is this sense of urgency for life & not maturity that draws me so heavily to his work.
My days have been spent studying people, places, interactions, mixed drinks, kissing styles, chord structure, the process of desire, defining the word lust, & finding the perfect combination of words to tell everyone how a certain someone can make you dizzy by mention of name alone. What follows is a couple recent writings & work prints. My thesis preview show hangs on October 25th. On the 27th I leave for 4 days in florida, driving straight thru the night, where i belong. Please enjoy.
i know this probably isnt the time or place but ive always wanted to kiss you & youre exactly what i want & youre leaving & this is how it goes & this is the life my pops warned me of & now hes not here & now youre not going to be here & im left with this hollow shell of a town.
why are you always such a dumbass i would have kissed you at any point in the past year. i wanted you to ask me out i want a nice boy to take me out to dinner & treat me like a lady all night & then take me home & help me dirty a pair of sheets & you dont tell a girl this in a bus terminal youre supposed to tell me these things one night when we are drunk & youre sleeping over & we can kiss under that ugly fucking color of street light that seeps in thru the window shades & wake a little hungover & bashful of our bodies finally next to each other but youll never do that because youre to fucking afraid of upholding some chivalrous thing your father instilled in you & youll never throw yourself over the edge & just kiss a girl when you want to & not when she wants you to.
i may not know what love is
but ask me about passion
ask me to recite the words you said the first night we made love in your apartment
ask me how many bottles i smashed after how many drinks i had
the night you said you were leaving
& ask me how sleepless nights i laid awake
pretending your body was next to mine.
to be honest the answer to all of the above is
i dont really know
but what i do know
is that my apartment feels lonely without an extra set of keys
& i cant seem to make half as much coffee in the mornings
& my bed
now makes me feel like a drunken sailor
in a rowboat lost at sea.
all my life ive been in search of something i cant name
With winter break on the impending horizon, I have been formulating travel plans, if you can call them that, but in the meantime I have been satisfying my fix with the help of the internet, namely Steve Fitch. With the repetition of motel & hand painted signage, abandoned drive ins, & mountainous landscapes, Fitch’s work oozes western discovery. His images straddle the line between never seen before & stereotype. I only experienced the land west of the Mississippi for the first time this past summer & everyday that passes the images fade a little more, with Fitch’s photographs I am able to reinstate my body somewhere between all night neon signs in Oklahoma, dive bars in Texas, & all night drives thru New Mexico & Arizona. While temporarily feeding my fix, his work just as equally makes everyday not spent in a car, that much harder.
Halloween weekend saw myself & four of my best friends speeding down 95 in search of florida air. It was a weekend of where are we sleeping tonight, what is our next meal/ is there even one, & old & new friends arm in arm singing to punk songs. Needless to say since then I haven’t been able to keep my mind focused on much else, except for my next trip. To subdue the need for a fix, I have been scouring the interwebs for photos of other destinations. Enjoy.
Home is a word that artists have been trying to define for decades, well now it’s empty stretch’s turn to take a stab at it. Over Thanksgiving break Aaron Canipe returned to his hometown of Hickory NC, Nate Grann spent his time at his girlfriends family home Bel Air, MD and the not so wonderful New York City, & I ventured to Virginia Beach to spend a few days on my father’s house boat.
Whether you’re traveling back home, a significant other’s home or even some new place, you can always find a piece of home there. So with that in mind the Empty Stretch Collective is proud to announce the first (of many) Empty Stretch publications. Make sure to stay tune for upcoming details along with ordering information and even possibly a pre-order special offer!
The road trip is a key ingredient to the framework and livelihood of the American spirit, and documentation of it has been taking place for decades now. For my senior thesis, I am looking to add my own interpretation of the American landscape; what follows is a small selection of work that has been influencing me as of late.
Matthew Genitempo is a Texas native who in his own words is trying to discover an unfamiliar America in a closely associated setting. His work has a certain emptiness, whether in the physical landscape or his subjects expressions, there is a missing facet that brings the viewer in and makes them try to discover for themselves where the missing piece is.
Patty Moussali is a French fashion photographer whose work I have followed for quite a few years now. Her portraits are what originally got me interested in her, her early work featured clean, well-lit, frontal views of her subject, another added bonus, usually in square format. I couldn’t find dates but I think sometime in 2007, Patty took a road trip through a portion of the United States. Whenever first viewing her reactionary photographs, I wasn’t exactly sure how to perceive them, they were so different from her typical portraiture, but I remember viewing the series over and over, and recently stumbled upon the series again, and was once again struck by her interpretation of my place of birth. Also note her use of sequence and color palette when viewing her website.
Jason Lee, not to be confused with the actor, hails from Queens, New York. He graduated from RISD, majoring in graphic design and is now the art director for Transworld Skateboarding. His work for me, has a heavy hand of nostalgia and spontaneity. The content of his website ranges from drunk skaters to throwback greasers, friends escapades to empty streets, all with an undertone of wanderlust and discovery.