Nearsighted art from a nearsighted artist

by     /    September 21, 2006   

I have been nearsighted since the age of 8. Nothing out of the ordinary, but definitely a defining characteristic of my life. I can’t remember what it felt like to see clearly without glasses. As most people know, wearing glasses can be an annoyance, a necessary crutch. But I have also found that it has given me an unexpected gift: two different ways to see the world. With my glasses on, I am in the “normal” world of 20/20 vision, defined objects, and recognizable faces. But when I take my glasses off, I leave that clarity behind and enter a world of abstraction. My myopia causes everything from one foot away to the horizon to be equally and evenly blurred, like a vaseline-covered lens on an old movie camera. It’s actually quite beautiful. Street lights become glowing amoebas. Landscapes are reduced to soft patterns of light and color. And people transform into anonymous figures of movement and energy.

I find that I often take my glasses off to “turn off my eyes”; to disengage from the public world and enter a more private place. It is in this private world that my photography takes root. In my photography, like my vision, I take things out of their normal context and explore them in a more personal and intimate setting, searching for a balance between focus and abstraction.

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