The essence of a photograph is the ability to capture the human perception of reality and put it in a two dimensional form we can review again and again. For me, photographs only become art when they gain the ability to convey the intangible--that something beyond a mere reflection of reality--to persons not immediately connected with the photographer or the subject.
We are all familiar with deja-vu, that sense of being in an unfamiliar place yet having a feeling that we have experienced it before. Within that sense are sensibilities that have driven my work in making photographs since I first discovered the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ralph Gibson, Dianne Arbus, and Walker Evans. For many years, I felt my own work simply aped theirs, or since they had been there before I, that I had no moral right to build on the feelings I experienced in viewing their work. But after many years of doubting, I realized that I needed to trust myself and my own intuition more.
In my work, beauty has always been fundamental to my interests. It is always what first catches my eye. It can take many forms, but never the conventional. I use beauty in my images in a broader sense--it must a part of them, but never that alone. It is that peculiar combination of beauty and the surreal that I am most attracted to photograph.
Mahlon F. Craft, March 14, 2007
About my work
About my methods