As a graduate student in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, I had the opportunity to study with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind and the opportunity to photograph a unique American city, Providence, Rhode Island. Both of these opportunities shaped the work that I produced during that time.
Aaron Siskind, through his constant probing, musing and questioning ("Every question is a test," one of my fellow students once said), encouraged a focused intelligence about one's work. In contrast, Harry Callahan taught by modeling an incredibly rigorous work ethic with minimal verbal communication. Coming from a blue-collar background, I related to Harry on a very personal level. My favorite Harry Callahan quote is, "You think just because we call ourselves artists we don't have to work for a living?"
Providence, Rhode Island was fascinating to me for three primary reasons. One, it was an older city than I was used to. The architecture, both historically significant and not, was visually very interesting to my midwestern eyes. Two, the city did not allow overnight street parking and, three, nearly all stores were closed on Sundays.
The combined effect of these last two meant that, on a Sunday morning, the city was like an abandoned set on a movie studio back lot. While this was probably not good for businesses, it was great for photography.
The subject matter of these photographs falls into the three general categories at left. First year project work was done in black and white and second in color. All negatives were made with a 4 x 5 view camera between 1974 and 1976. Over time, the color film deteriorated significantly and, in 2005, I made digital copies of the negatives to restore them. This portfolio is the result of that restoration project.