Sometimes I am a hired gun. To the right bidder I take assignments scouting locations for commercials. The picture postcard spacious-skies-amber-waves-of-grain-and-purple-mountain-majesties sort of stuff is easy—a packaged product, simple to frame up and sell. It is the detailed place—a snippet of an urban street corner that promotes economic power and wealth; an angle on a house that emotes an ideal of family perfection; the special tree that gently separates from the background forest to subtly state individuality—that are the difficult to hunt. Knowing the terrain and discovering in the world these specifics of visual vocabulary is my tradecraft.
I have developed a very specific way of looking. Stuff seen out the car window at 65 MPH is instantly inventoried. Specifics of a particular space are categorized almost unconsciously. Visual elements are deciphered on the fly for the proper cultural denotation. Sometimes—when I am completely in the scouting zone—it feels that I only see the visual world in how it can sell crap. In my art I attempt to turn this upside-down. Unremarkable and overlooked spaces are elevated to significance and break away from reading of place by stereotype in forming a new interpretation of the contemporary landscape.