“The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera.”

Dorothea Lange

i was five years old or so when my mother bought herself a canon ae-1, a dramatic upgrade from our family point and shoot cartridge film camera. she taught herself to use it by reading the user manual from cover to cover. i can still remember how heavy it was around my neck and i’m realizing as i write this just how much of my art seems to be the continuation of something she started but would never be able to finish.

i would end up pawning my mother’s canon to go to my first gay pride when i was nineteen and i wouldn’t take up photography in earnest until i began my adventures in l.a.’s underground rave scene, circa 2000, first with my trusty advantix and then with disposables after it finally went kaput. it was really by happenstance, following my friends’ example, one in particular, an artist who’d bring out with him the weirdest little snap and points — four lens japanese imports, polaroid sticker makers and the like. and what i’d find so many years later in those photos i took in all of those illegal warehouse parties would come to be source material for my writing.

i’ve always loved photographs. one of my favorite things to do as a kid, as early as three or four years old, was to pull out the family photo albums to peruse the familiar pages, faces looking back at me from under cellophane, over and over again. i’m still not entirely able to explain just what it was about them that drew me in, their smell, texture, that they allowed me to look back on a captured moment passed.

a series of canons would follow before the iphone would change everything for me. that and returning to school and leaving los angeles became the perfect brew, a blend of that something inherent in me with the works that i’ve read — baudelaire, rousseau — which bore my photo and film series, #solitarywalker. along with the artists i admire, nan goldin, warhol, annie leibovitz for rolling stone, and david lachapelle, who influence the documentary nature of my day to days and the color in my portraits and pin-ups.