Dave's American Dream

Dave's American Dream

This is my friend Dave. We’ve known one another since junior high school. We were both skateboarders. My mother and I had opened up a skateboard shop during my 8th grade year of junior high school and it was sometime around then that I met Dave.

Dead Heads and Utopians

Dead Heads and Utopians

I was never a hippie. Much too young for that. Some people tried to call my peers Generation X, whatever that means. However, I became interested in the culture of the Grateful Dead in the early 90s.

Friends and Aquaintances

Friends and Aquaintances

I had a feeling, along with many of my friends, that high school was a waste of time. Except for the service industries there were no jobs for people with high school diplomas. We felt like high school was a de facto prison. Our parents went to jobs they hated – if they were lucky enough to even have jobs. We wanted to be free, while we were young, before we also had lives we hated. It’s not that we didn’t value an education, it was rather that we didn’t feel we were getting an unbiased education. We believed high school was simply job training for one dead-end life narrative after another.

Grandpa's Jungle

Grandpa's Jungle

As I drove down the freeway I recalled the day they found grandpa. That was Christmas ten years ago. We had always thought he was dead. Suddenly he wasn’t. It was as if he were resurrected. Or perhaps he was some demon who never really existed.

Hate and Hope

Hate and Hope

When farm worker labor union leader Cesar Chavez died in 1993 his efforts to raise the living standards of Latino farm workers had been a mixed success. New Latino arrivals from Latin America were making less in real wages and working in increasingly deteriorating conditions. The membership in the union was also dwindling and the UFW found it difficult to unionize a younger generation of migrant farm workers, many of whom were illegal aliens.

Military Distopiaville

Military Distopiaville

I had things most five or six year old don’t have: Pictures of the dead. And these were photos of dead Vietnamese along side photos of my father standing next to a helicopter called the magic bus, holding a 45 caliber gun and smiling, standing next to a poster from the movie Easy Rider and listening to headphones.

Mongolia

Mongolia

These pictures are about the strange and sometimes ethereal beauty I saw during a short trip to Mongolia during 2002, nearly a decade after the fall of Communism. Someone I knew had arranged the trip with the government of the country. He asked if I’d like to come along provided I could pay my own way.

Monks and Tibetans

Monks and Tibetans

I don’t know much about Tibetan Buddhism and I still don’t. There is much to learn about a religion monks spend a lifetime studying and practicing.

Tibetan Monks hold the knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism and Culture. This knowledge is contained in scrolls and other documents but also has been passed down orally from one generation of monks to the next for hundreds maybe even thousands of years.

Nightopia

Nightopia

The sprawling suburban and strip mall architecture of America is our canvas. In this series of images I’ve made an attempt to find a subjective view of this artificial, soul-less, man-made reality choking out nature around me. These manufactured spaces are without originality. These factory-made constructions are the same from sea to shining sea where Indians once lived and buffaloes roamed.

Plan-It-X Fest

Plan-It-X Fest

I first time I ever heard of Plan-It-X records a few years ago I was passing by a theatre and there were a bunch of punk kids standing outside. I did a double take because I thought Punk really was dead ever since Green Day and some other bands made it commercial. Hardcore and straight-edge punk had come and gone as well.

Portraits

Portraits

What are portraits? Some of these portraits in this gallery are of people I’ve passed on the street. Others are people I know, even family. Some portraits are of places and feelings. Places, like people, also have personalities and moods. Often, in a portrait, the person and the place in which they are depicted conspire to make the image.

Post-Modern High

Post-Modern High

These photos are about the high school I attended as a teenager in Porterville, a working class town, about two hours north of downtown Los Angeles during the late 80s and early 90s. I worked on the high school newspaper and the yearbook but many of these photos were never published.

Red Blue

Red Blue

I am simply one person with a camera. These are images of my country I captured during the 2000 election recount. It all started when I began photographing my great-grandpa because I didn’t know if I’d see him again. Life is change. But, I never would have imagined the confusing and tragic events of the past five years.

RNC 2004

RNC 2004

I spent a week walking the streets of NYC documenting the protests against George W. Bush and the Republicans during August and September 2004. I doubted I would have been given a photo pass to enter Madison Square Garden since I just showed up on my own and therefore I was out in the streets with the cops, the protesters, and the innocent.

Suburban Sublime

Suburban Sublime

Some of my earliest memories are of a dream. I am looking down from high above and surrounding me are tract homes in every direction reaching to infinity. Then, in this dream, I am running but I can’t get out of the housing tract where I find myself. The first of these photos are from the town where I sort of grew up. There earlier images are probably more in line with the philosophies of the New-Topographics photographers but lately I’ve been attempting see beyond just how things look when I make landscape photographs.

The Belarusians

The Belarusians

Belarus is not America. People generally don’t smile unless they mean it. In many ways it is still a semi-Soviet state. Consumerism is not a way of life. The media there is not an industry. I was surprised to find they do have American music and American music videos…

The Bloomington Underground

The Bloomington Underground

This is a series of photos I have made during a three-month period in the late spring and early summer of 2006 in Bloomington, Indiana. Some who are reading this might know where Bloomington is. But, for those that don’t, it’s a college town in the middle of Southern Indiana in a place where I never would imagine, if I didn’t live here, there would be such an underground music and artistic scene.

The Nicaraguans

The Nicaraguans

I found it surreal and hard to believe that not too many years earlier, Nicaragua had, in reality, been at war with America. America had funded so-called Freedom fighters after the Nicaraguan people had overthrown the ruling class that owned most of the country. But people seemed to be going on with their lives despite the utter poverty of the country – the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

We Dissent

We Dissent

I’ve photographed many protests over the years. But, often, I wonder how effective some really are. I also wonder what kind of country, what kind of world we’d live in if people of all sorts of political persuasions didn’t speak out, didn’t dissent – when they disagree with something.

Youth

Youth

I don’t really know most of the people in these photos yet somehow they are familiar to me like yesterday’s dream I only partially remember if at all. These are stolen moments from a past life on the road, driving, walking, searching America for some sense of truth and for myself, the self I never really found.