For many years, I was a sculptor, installation, and performance artist . About 10 years ago, inspired by a book of nude photographs from the 1800s (Taschen's “Early erotic Photography”), I began creating elaborate vignettes in my studio and photographing models in them. At first, my only ambition was to create a beautiful image. Soon, however, as more and more women started approaching me wanting to pose, I began to focus more on my subjects, their interaction with the camera, and their desire to expose themselves and play a role. Many of these women are struggling with issues of identity, attractiveness, sexuality, beauty and desirability. So many of them have expressed to me how powerfully it affected them to pose for me, how liberating and empowering it was.
I've always collected old photographs and postcards. I've always been interested in formal portraiture and different notions of beauty. I enjoy taking ordinary people and showing them at their best, their most beautiful. I love giving them access to a style of photography generally accessible only to celebrities, starlets, the very rich. My background in sculpture, installation and performance clearly come into play here in the creation of elaborate sets and costumes. Often I design and make the costumes, jewelry, and props myself. My subjects relish the opportunity to try on different outfits, fabulous jewels, play with different roles. They enjoy being the focus of attention, shown as paragons of beauty.
These latest images are inspired by hand colored photographs from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Besides continuing to create these images as art and explore the many issues that they raise, I hope to promote myself as a portrait photographer, offering this type of portraiture to everyone.