Rockville Center, NY
What sparked your interest in Photography?
Many creative outlets are produced in response to something. My interest in photography was originally to recover my mental state from abuse as a gay male. I remember the harassment starting when I was a child and I never had a creative outlet to deal with my emotions. In the beginning my work expressed my sexuality. What I photograph now has more to do with existing in the present moment. Mindfulness can be a powerful tool.
What is your preference when it comes to working with film or digital cameras?
After playing with different formats, mediums and other art forms I grew away from tool preferences. Artists use their tools to inspire them and I think that’s fantastic. For me it turned into a distraction from the work I wanted to make. Ironically my digital camera looks like an analog; this is
helpful since the digital medium can illicit fear in those weary of instant salability on the internet.
What is art to you?
When you’re hustling, making work and trying to change the world.
Your photography ranges from portraits to still life, is that a way of telling stories within your series? I make pictures of things I want to see longer. Whether that’s my friends face or an inanimate object. It’s difficult to say if I’m telling a story. I enjoy making sequences; even when I made a
photobook, it was more of a sequence than a story. I still want the images to make sense together. However, not all of them have a narrative. Some of them are akin to quotes or poems. Some stand on their own. I would call it a timeline rather than a story.
What camera are you currently using?
Digital: Fujifilm Xe-2
Analog: Canon Ae-1
Who and or what inspires you?
My first inspiration was nature. It still inspires me. Organic forms, some controlled, some unrestrained, the age of a tree, life in a stream etc.. Painters also inspire me not only their application of paint but the smell it emits, the texture it can have and the colors they can create. Jordan Kasey is one painter I’m fond of. They give human form an unrealistic yet relatable grandeur.
Walk me through a day in the life of Robert with his camera, what triggers you to turn on your camera and take a picture?
I pick up my camera when I see something I want to remember. A feeling rises from my stomach into my arms. It tells me to act and not miss the chance to collect what lies in front of me. Translating what I see into an image grants me the pure joy of creating something.