NotPeople and the Relic Series

Many have asked me about the process and inspiration for the Not People section on my site.

The Relic Series is a collection of the places that I have been. Some are from the places I used to live, some are foreign travels, some are conceptual and some are simply from playing around with the dozens of antique cameras that I own.
A barn outside of my hometown, Minooka, Illinois

The process and techniques behind the aesthetic quality of the collection is always a topic of interest to others. From the internet, they are often interpreted as large prints, or at least sized for viewing from a nominal distance. In reality, they are quite small. Most fit within the palm of your hand, and some are about the size of your thumb.
Paris, France

The inspiration from this series stemmed from my childhood. I was always a collector of crap. Bottles, coins, wood boxes, model cars, marbles, empty frames, and old printed photos. I used to swarm the photo boxes at local antique stores and purchase old tin-types and daguerreotypes from the 1800s and into the early 1900s. They fascinated me. Not only did the hidden story behind who these people were interest me, but the size did too. They were always small, no bigger than a business card or even a pack of matches.

After moving to Santa Barbara, CA then to Portland, OR and then finally settling back in Chicago, I was asked to create a body of work for a local gallery. It was going to be the 5th anniversary of a previous show that Warren Miller and myself did as students.
Porland, Oregon and San Francisco

As I unpacked boxes from traveling and moving around the country, I began to pull all of my favorite photos that I had from these places of my past. From Paris, Rome, California, Oregon, Mexico, my small hometown of Minooka, NYC, Chicago, mountains, underwater, forests, deserts, snow, rain, fog - they were all moments in my life that formed part of the foundation of who I am today. I wanted to use these images and turn them into relics of my past, thus preserving them and allowing others to see them.
Santa Barbara, California

The technique. The stacks of printed photos started to grow. After mounting each of them onto thick cotton ragboard, I began the degradation process. Each image was stained with coffee or tea, sanded, shellacked, microwaved, painted, scratched, sanded again, left outside, even put in the dryer. I wanted to age them as if they were those photos I used to collect as a kid.

The current set of images are contained in hand bound cases, complete with a recess for the print to be placed in. Over the past year, I began to give them away as gifts to friends and clients. I've thought about selling them, but tend to get more satisfaction in giving than receiving.
Snowy field in Minooka, Illinois

If you're interested in purchasing any pieces from the Relic series, please contact me here. The original sizes are all editions of 1. Archival prints are available of the clean versions as well.