On the first weekend of business shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic, I ventured out into a truly foreign world - an empty French Quarter on a Saturday night. The scene was so bereft of life and activity, it seemed almost supernatural. Facing the red chair back toward the Place D'Armes, I had ample time to set up the shot during the blue hour of the evening with not a single passerby. While the ambience of a quiet French Quarter neighborhood was something to behold, my hope is there's no need to experience that ever again.
Chartres is a limited edition photograph and part of a series called the Red Chair Project – something I’ve been working on for a while and been thinking about for even longer – how to create a deeper connection between a photograph and the viewer. The most difficult things to convey in a photograph are almost always scale and intimacy. Scale is difficult because a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world can fall short in portraying the scale of the scene and more importantly, how big the scene is in relation to a human being. Intimacy is especially difficult with landscapes because while the scene may be beautiful, there’s often nothing in the photograph that the viewer can connect with. Using a simple object, a chair – something we all use – I’m attempting to create that depth of connection that may otherwise not be there.
That’s the concept behind the Red Chair Project – childhood memory reintroduced to my life as an adult and now an integral part of my photography. The backstory on the chair is a personal one. It’s a chair that was in my room as a young boy and only came back into my possession a few years ago. Instantly, the thought of incorporating it into my photography became something I began to think about. My hope is that something we all use – a simple chair – will give that extra layer of connection to this series of photographs.