Over the past four decades I've explored the intersections of sexuality and esthetics. This is what initial drew me the arts, it's the content I'm interested in when viewing historical materials and contemporary works, and it's the subject of any work I produce of my own.
My initial exposure to nude and erotic imagery was in the arts and sciences. Histories of human evolution, anthropology, medical texts, and related material had illustrations and photos that were not intended to be erotic but had a wonderful specificity and lack of modesty about them. There were also the images, both historical and contemporary, from the world of art: sculptures, drawings, prints, paintings, so much of it with nude figures. In these works and the way they were presented a combination of social approval, esteem, and value was combined with nudity and erotic content. This had for me a reassuring and healing effect, a counter to the fearful and repressive messages that so pervasively attach to discussions and descriptions of the body, erotic desires, and sexuality.
Of course as a teenager I was interested in and sought out our modern, mechanically produced images of the body, materials from the growing adult industry, which I appreciated for their lack of modesty and unobstructed views of the body in sexual contexts and actions. I liked considering the industry materials in relation to the scientific descriptions and the images from art, seeing and considering the similarities and differences both within and between the different categories. I started producing my early images at this time, drawings and paintings, both from life and from photographs.
After a few years I found a way to work using photography. My early work established the themes and photographic processes that I still use today - sexuality, presentations of self, erotic desire, exhibitionism and voyeurism, all portrayed using multiple exposures on 35mm slide film. A flood at my studio in Napa, California helped me to discover the processes that film can undergo as it decays and I have used these as part of my vocabulary since that time.
During the late 1990s through early 2000s I took a break from producing images. The ending of my first marriage ending led to a period of questioning and introspection and finally to a more structured study of erotic content in the arts, something that eventually culminated in several research projects and a Doctorate in Sexology.
I returned to making images 2008, first with drawings and then starting to photograph again. This stage of image production has continued up to the present day.
Although my work often looks like digital collages the images are rarely combined digitally. Instead, I use film and run the rolls through the camera multiple times. I keep brief notes about the themes, model(s) and content in each film canister and then match what's there with new content.
I always frame and take whatever shot is of the most explicit erotic interest, whether I'm photographing a model, flower, animal, church, painting, sculpture or any other subject. The images I produce are both intensely personal, a reflection of my desires, perceptions, and emotions and are something that I relate to intellectual inquiries, concepts, and studies.