A while back my friend Dan Landis came up with the idea that we should photograph bridges with the intent of getting them exhibited in a science museum. Our first collaboration, we titled it Bridging Across New Jersey. Why not stay close to home right? We started shooting 35mm but quickly moved up to 4×5 because of perspective control and the fact that we would be exhibiting 16″x20″ and 20″x24″ prints.

This was the first time I had ever put constraints on myself as a photographer. My pictures started off as classic bridge “portraits” but gradually they began to look like something else. “Oh, there happens to be a bridge in that picture”. I would say to myself. The light and the sky became more important to me than the subject. Even the subject often changed. I’m sure glad I wasn’t a professional photographer and luckily for Bridging Across New Jersey this was my last shot.

For me this picture is about being a little kid looking out of the car window at this little building in the middle of the Meadowlands with big neon letters on it. I would wonder about the guy who worked in there and if he got to walk down those long docks to the antennas. I would daydream about living in that building and climbing the antennas (I also fantasized about living in those cylindrical oil tanks along the turnpike). All this living from the back seat of a VW bug. As a sophisticated adult art school educated museum professional, this picture is a reference to Martin Johnson Heade’s Jersey Meadows. and the first photograph in a body of work I started 15 years ago.

I call this body of work Personal Monuments. It consists of photos of places that I’ve known for most of my life and sort of like “comfort food”, this “comfort imagery” grounds me and provides me a sense of contentment. More to come.

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