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There was a period in my life, where I was working night shifts while living in Los Angeles where I struggled to sleep. Instead of tossing and turning, I would go into my office and shoot photographs. It was in these late night sessions, alone in the stillness, that I would find the core elements that would make up my artisan craft — oils, glass, inks, and air. As a physician, and a scientist at heart, my photography pulls various elements of chemistry and physics, moving those concepts through the artistic side of my mind, resulting in the creation of a meditative and a long history of powerful artistic works that inspire, draw upon the viewers’ curiosity and prompt the questions how was that captured and what do you see?
The Murano glass that I use is mainly from two batches that I bought while in Murano, Italy. This multigenerational family business has been around since the 14th century. We purchased about 80kg of shattered glass from them. We met with the owners during a private tour while walking through the city a number of years ago. It continues to be a source of creativity and I love using it. Over time I have purchased other glass to in order to explore the bending of light even deeper.
I discovered the potential of this liquid from seeing olive oil drops roll through a bottle filled with water in a vase. I came to quickly realize that there was a magical phenomena happening here that needed to be captured with my camera. Different oils have various colors and behaviors due to viscosity and origin. This changes the way they interact with the other elements that benefits the overall composition of each piece where they play a role.
The color and depth you may see in my work comes from the use of different inks. As you can see, how the inks behave and reflect or refract the light will depend on the undersurface, the speed of the ink flow, ink types and related factors. They all dance in the light and create beautiful patterns and colors that are captured in these broken fragments of time.
The motion, the force, that helps create some of the movement and texture in my art is the air as it skims the surface of the inks, creates vortices on and in the inks or simply becomes another medium for light to pass through and bend. Physics demands that the photons and waves of light behave that way. Why not create beautiful art by using those universal rules.
As a medical professional, part of my inspiration comes from scientific disciplines like chemistry and physics. But that doesn’t negate the healing nature of my expression. Abstract macro photography became the perfect playground for all these different components to shine.
I work with only four elements: oils, glass, inks and air. I began to discover the numerous possibilities of these materials while working nights in Los Angeles. The more time I spent with these elements, the more I saw the “infinite territory” within them.
The ‘digital’ aspect of my art doesn’t refer to manipulation. It instead refers to my use of a digital camera and editing software. I do use Photoshop and Lightroom, but only to correct levels. There isn’t a single swirl or bubble that wasn’t there naturally.
The frustration that can, and did, arise from sending out work to be printed was enough for me to take over the printing process when I was able. I was so committed to creating an end product that was exactly what I wanted that I decided to take on this task.