I’ve always considered myself a “faux” landscape photographer. I build complex dioramas in the living room of my Brooklyn apartment and photograph the results. I’ve been constructing scenes for the past 12 years, first landscapes and more recently architectural interiors.
In my current series, The City, I focus on the ruins of urban landscapes. I construct spaces that celebrate modern culture, knowledge, and innovation, as well as humanity’s more unsavory patterns of consumerism and potential debauchery: the theater, the museum, a vacuum cleaner showroom, and a dark, dingy bar. Here the buildings of civilization and material culture are abandoned, lying in a state of decay and ruin, with natural elements such as plants, insects, and animals beginning to repopulate the spaces. This idea of paradise lost, or the natural world reclaiming itself, becomes more forceful as we face greater environmental challenges in the world around us.
I am interested in forces of entropy, in the ruins left in the wake of humanity’s demise. My scenes are usually devoid of people, and this emptiness becomes an essential element in my work. The impact of civilization is shown by what remains when humans no longer populate the environment. Evidence of civilization may still be visible (such as books, paintings, and shoes), but the cause for humanity’s disappearance is intentionally left unclear, allowing the viewer to complete the narrative.