Tripping On Art

The found shoes continue to be a source of creative inspiration. These iterations were in part inspired by an open call from Humble Arts Foundation for visually psychedelic landscape photos. Since I found the shoes in the urban landscape, and think of them as part of the regional landscape in New Mexico, I'm going with that. On a more personal level, my associations with the shoes and reasons for collecting them in the first place are not so far removed from a psychedelic experience I had when I was a child. You can read about my work in progress project with the shoes here for some context.

When I was three I accidentally ingested and overdosed on LSD - having a very long and arduous acid trip that resulted in my not walking for several days and compulsively naming all the things I could name in my Richard Scarry books when I came out of it. While I'm not sure if my memories of the event are real or the imagined visuals of having been told the story many times, it doesn't really matter as I believe we embody our memories into our being.

I think art (photography especially) is a powerful way to explore those memories and the vestigal feelings and emotions that accompany them. To dive deeply into the creative process is not dissimilar from being in an altered state of consciousness. While being in that creative flow-state, connections become more fluid and run deeper - I feel like I can see more clearly - it's seductive and I always know that I have to "come back" at some point. For me, being an artist is a way to access that state, of being able to see more clearly and draw connections that would otherwise be obscured, to explore unknown territory with an open heart and mind.

As for these shoe images, I like how they invoke a ghostly visage - straddling two worlds as it were - and conjuring a sense of the people who wore them originally. Presented as artifacts from the urban landscape and garishly revived for a second life, they are a bit of a visual non sequitur, but also a reminder of how our society chews people up and spits them out.