The word ‘image’ is pervasive. There is a misconception that ‘photograph’ and ‘image’ are equivalent. It must be acknowledged that images are not real. No image is, in itself, reality. Instead, images can only be considered as reflections of the real. The world around us is so digitally rich that we see images of something, and images of images, before we see the thing itself (if we ever do). Increasingly, we cannot have faith in believing the images that we see. Nowadays, images can be edited and manipulated, but they can also even be entirely constructed within the digital space. These digital constructions, termed as hyperreality by Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007), support the concept that society is synthetic.
My practice investigates the relationship between the real and digital worlds, between a painting and a photograph, attempting to find balance in my internal dialogue with what defines an image, Maintaining consistency to my choice of subject matter - the portrait - allows me to address fundamental social concepts within our twenty-first century society. My work addresses surveillance - how we can unknowingly be made into an image ourselves, which can then be duplicated and mutated without our consent. This is achieved through the imagery, typically of young men and women, addressing human concern, or even obsession, surrounding our appearance - we have become a newly narcissistic society.
More often than not, I produce black and white monochrome works. The grayscale has become an important feature in contextualising my work. As an entirely digital phenomenon, considering the fact that nothing in nature and reality is truly black and white, working with this palette pushes my work into the realms of the digital and the surreal. The occasional inclusion of blue references the mutation of the digital screen in producing a solarised cast into the image.