The Reconstructions portfolio is about the medium of photography. It is about the veracity of a medium that for so many years was taken to be proof positive of the truth. It is an exploration into the masterworks of photojournalism through the reconstruction of alternative versions of some of history’s most iconic images. Why does a particular photograph rise above millions or billions of others to stand as an icon that marks the march of history? What if that moment in history were changed? Would the photograph loose its power? Or is it the confluence of visual elements that make it indelible?
This series of photographs explores the relationship between the mind and the eye – the space between what we see and what we know. What we know informs us and can distort what we see. When an image is particularly familiar to us, the mind will “see” it before the eye and not allow the immediate recognition of the counterfeit. When an image is an abstraction of a well-known original, but rendered to create an entirely different “story,” it can tug at the memory like a face that you have seen before, but just can’t place. It is photography’s unmatched ability to “lie” that I find particularly intriguing. Photographers have adjusted reality for the benefit of the camera since the birth of the medium. Painter Paul Gauguin noted over 100 years ago that photography is a wonderful “illusion of reality”. It is that illusion of reality that gives the photograph its magic.