I have fallen in love with the work of Duane Michals. His work argues that the photograph is not worth a thousand words. In fact it asks questions, it doesn't answer them. And you need more than one!
After initially falling in love with Duane Michals sequences, I was very excited to find that he photographed my favourite artist Andy Warhol. And of course, much like his photographs of Rene Magritte, he captured Warhol perfectly. Simply and perfectly, with Warhol blurring and obscuring his face. Michals seeemed to know what would follow in Warhol's art over the following 30 years.
When I saw Chance Meeting it really spoke to me. As a young gay man, I must have turned to look at a thousand guys hoping they would have turned back to look at me, and in this sequence - that happens! I had to reshoot it and who better to ask to pose but a crush that I often see around town, Jason Mui.
The Unfortunate Man Could Not Touch The One He Loved really showed me what art could do. I had spent the first year of study trying to come out through my art, photographing boys in toilets having sex purely to dare myself to walk into class and put the photos on the table. I hadn't realized I could have been photographing the struggle. This photograph and the accompanying text by Duane Michals hit me like a truck.
I had no idea who Maxwell Caulfield was but I noticed that he was photographed by Michals on my father's birthday on October 8th, 1981. Suddenly I could picture Duane Michals photographing a man, and my Dad having a birthday party on different sides of the planet on the same day over 25 years ago. I wanted a photograph of myself finding this photograph.