I grew up in a split universe, exposed to two versions of the truth. My father’s world was artistic, a place where comic books and fairy tales conjured up dreams and youthful fantasy. My mother’s world was regimented, ruled by the precise and intricate details of the stock market.
I developed two selves, two realities that existed simultaneously—and I still exist somewhere between them, a living contradiction. My work comes from this gray space, where I am free to find connections with or without resolution.
An emotional response to art is what matters most to me. More than lighting or other elements I use to create my visions, my mind’s eye is the most important tool. Just as a picture says a thousand words, my photographs are a composite of a thousand shattered fragments, captured and fused back together to create a new perception of reality.
Stories form the nexus of my work, the more fantastic and bizarre the better. I am always searching for a new interpretation of a classic tale, one that was lost in translation, the plot twisted like words in a game of telephone.
Every story has two sides—my version exists in the gray space between them.
You can’t have dark without light, good without evil, order without chaos, truth without fiction, beauty without ugliness, cause without effect, or reality without perception. These opposing forces of yin and yang remain a constant presence in my life, and act as both a mirror and a lens in my work.
Telling these stories of contradiction and revelation is my passion. I want you to avert your eyes but turn back for a second look, knowing that it may be your truth. I want you to coexist on both sides of the mirror, to see the original intertwined with its distorted reflection.
In my split universe, the most compelling moment is not when Alice jumps down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. It happens just as the roller coaster reaches the top of the hill—the moment right before impact—when we can still see all of the versions that might become our own stories.
Photo © 2009 Carl Bower
| No Comments