I was born in Romania and came to the United States at age 18 to study at Harvard University and subsequently the Yale School of Art. My photography reflects an allegiance to my classical training, my fondness for old world Eastern European aesthetics, and my life experience as an immigrant. In particular, I have a persistent curiosity for absorbing and documenting cultural norms, taboos and nuances of American society. I work primarily in black and white and I am especially drawn to the timeless elegance of silver gelatin prints. Through my photographs, I seek to catapult the viewer on a journey into worlds barricaded by closed door. Whether it is an operating room, a fetishist’s lair or a gubernatorial candidate’s back office, I try to capture sharp, witty and intelligent viewpoints. My work does not cater to the censorship of power; rather it exposes imperfections, illuminates un-manicured expressions and glimpses the sincerity of moments unfolding.
Over the past two decades I have developed a sensibility that straddles the line between photojournalism and art. In my Bachelor Parties series, and the recent Making of a Governor Campaign documentation, I sought to escape the conventions of modern-day photojournalism, the scampering to attain the expected shot. Rather, I dive to the core of the event and photograph its underpinnings – its panty lines – unveiling the root of the story that lives beneath the traditional constructs of the event.
I am drawn to capture frames that pulse with a forceful, hungry presence. While framing this edginess and tension, I also work to layer a sense of formal beauty, and appreciation of texture and of shape. In shooting the idiosyncratic architecture of 1930’s WPA bridges built along Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway, I contrasted ivy and patterned concrete with the smooth river-like roadway that unadornedly flows beneath the bridges. In still life, such as my eggplant print, I enjoyed capturing stark vulnerability with a twinge of humor. In my portrait work, on the other hand, I am driven to find both humor and beauty in the textures of human experience and am captivated by the sterling and gentle ferocity often exhibited by my subjects. Whatever walks of life they hail from, I seek to capture their personal essence rather than the profession, fame or status that entraps them.
Each of my photographs stands alone as a separate work, but combined they form threads of a contemporary American legacy unfolding in real time. I find that the intersection of my varied pursuits leads to intriguing juxtapositions. I am drawn to continue producing timeless silver gelatin prints that speak to a collision of modern concerns. I yearn to capture images about the speed of our lifestyles and the unquestioning embrace of technology, as well as the environment, and the societal hunger to document itself. All the while, my underlying concern is to record reality, not to reconstruct it.
New York City