My large-scale images of blank billboards, illuminated at night, mean different things to different people. To some, they’re a symbol of urban waste, a crumbling economy, or a vision of the Apocalypse. To others, they’re calming and Zen-like. Mark Feeney, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The Boston Globe, described one of the images as a “spooky expanse of rectilinear whiteness aglow with mystery and veiled revelation.”
For me, the images are about a culture obsessed with consumption – a society that often equates happiness with the accumulation of things. “Keeping up with the Joneses.” It helps drive our economy, this relentless desire to buy more stuff. But the endless need to consume can be poison. It’s killing the environment. And, it’s an empty and unfulfilling pursuit.
The purpose of an advertisement, of course, is to convince us to consume. A billboard is just an extreme example, an advertisement on steroids that shouts its message from high above: Buy a Big Mac! Buy an SUV! Buy a Razor with Five Blades!
But a blank billboard, if read literally, delivers a decidedly different message: “Live Simply. Don’t Buy Anything.”
I'm Not On Your Vacation
Cape Cod is a summer vacation spot. In July and August, its beaches teem with tourists. The population of the outer Cape explodes tenfold. Visitors stand in line for an hour or more to order fried clams.
Once Labor Day rolls around, there's a mass exodus. Motels empty. Cottages are boarded up. Restaurants and clam shacks shut down. And, the coastline is pummeled by powerful nor'easters.
This project is about life on the outer Cape. The people who live and work there. Those who come for the summer, often from Jamaica and eastern Europe, not for the beaches but to work -- scrubbing floors, sweeping parking lots and making sandwiches, earning more money in a week than they can in a month back home. This project is also about the "off season." After the tourists have gone home.
Brian uses a large format, 4x5 camera. Negatives are scanned on an Imacon scanner. Archival pigment prints on Ilford Prestige Gold Fibre Paper are available at 16x20 (edition of 10), 24x30 (edition of 10), 32x40 (edition of 5) and 40x50 (edition of 5).
Brian spent three years as an assistant to a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist at The Boston Globe. Now, he uses a 4x5 camera to create images about Cape Cod, American culture, and the human condition.
Brian’s photographs have been exhibited at Panopticon Gallery, Griffin Museum of Photography, Danforth Art, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Houston Center for Photography, Stone Crop Gallery, St. Botolph Club, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Nave Gallery Annex, Schoolhouse Gallery, Panopticon Imaging, in the Daniel Cooney Gallery Emerging Photographers Auction, in the Magenta Foundation’s “Flashed” Exhibit, and in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Juried Summer Auction.
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