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A House Apart
I have always had a strong interest in photographing the places where people live. I am especially interested in the older, solo houses in the eastern part of the United States where many of the homesteads and farms have been replaced by planned communities, mega-malls, industrial parks and other forms of urban sprawl. I photograph houses that stand by themselves – not a neighbor in either direction. While solitary houses are not an uncommon sight in the wide open spaces of the American West, here in the congested Northeast ones sees fewer and fewer of them as newer housing tracts advance across the landscape. There is a determination to endure that is apparent to me in a number of these lone structures. In others, time has run out.
This series evolved from a long-running sequence of urban building and parking garage photographs that I started taking a few years ago. The earlier photographs filled the entire viewing plane with abstract patterns. Eventually, I moved back some distance and began to photograph the mid-sections of skyscrapers and apartment high-rises. Some of these photographs were taken up to half a mile away although I don’t normally have that kind of space to work with.
I am trying to capture not only the architectural beauty of these structures but also their eerie impersonality when looked at a certain way; almost like honeycombs with their relentless patterns of steel and windows. I deliberately removed any traces of sky to emphasize the barrenness of these buildings. Unlike the rural houses that I often photograph – where personality and individualism predominate – the urban towers exist at a kind of emotionless macro level, exuding a sense of power, a world where hundreds, if not thousands, of people work and live.