The Black Eye

The athletes and wrestlers in this series, who are a wide range of ages, intrigue me because of the conflicting characteristics they contain, such as: youth and manhood, strength and weakness, tenderness and rigidity, odd and ordinary, splendor and roughness and most importantly, between their gaze and their presence.

The specific gaze of each subject is what I focus on as I create a photograph. For some subjects this moment comes easily but others need more encouragement and directing. During a typical shoot, I change poses and locations, switch outfits and sometimes insist on continuing, although the subject is exhausted. I do this deliberately because it helps the subject free them self from their “mask” - the self consciousness expression that people often put in front of a camera.
The wrestlers and athletes are exhausted after a hard training session or a fight. Some are breathless, sweaty and fatigued. When I photograph them, I search for a certain expression in which they gaze through the camera towards what I refer to as infinity; a brief moment in which they have almost calmed their breath but not yet fully regained their self awareness.

It is a moment when the individual surrenders them self to the camera.  My aim is to search for this moment, in which a contradiction is presented between the person and the persona.

Fall 2010