“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them... well, I have others.” —Groucho Marx
In 1987, I decided take a divergent path from my usual approach to photography, a path that would allow me to be less subtle, more playful, and to take more risks. The Simple Truths (and Complex Lies) project is the result.
Simple Truths is a blend of inquiry and absurdity that borrows from post-modernism, Dada, and sixties experimentalism with some Ernie Kovacs, Spike Jones and Mad Magazine thrown in to keep things moving.
While diverse in materials, methods, and presentation, these pieces share a common goal which is to present information to the viewer in unanticipated ways. Sub-themes within the overall project investigate self-portraiture, sexual relationships, sacred cows, regular cows, the history of art and photography, and a few uniquely human attributes such as greed, lust, pretense, and regret.
Much, but not all, of this is enclosed in a layer of ironic humor that may help buffer steadily increasing evidence that nihilism actually makes a lot of sense.
1987 (rev 2018)
Presenting the work in this manner, utilizing a “gallery wall” background, is not intended to be cute. It is the best method I could think of to illustrate the way these pieces interact with each other and with the environment in which they are displayed.
Also note that much of this work was done before the digitization of photography and required a good amount of handwork, both in and out of the darkroom. Because of this, many of these pieces are editions of one.
06-22-2020 Guided Tour of the Simple Truths and Complex Lies project: