The first two years I shot film I focused on faces. Just go for a walk and ask folks if I can take their picture. Doing it was its own reward, but there was a reason behind it too. My dad had had a stroke not long before I picked up a camera for the very first time. One of the effects for him was on his vision: his eyes worked, but he couldn’t see – there were bars of light and dark and he couldn’t tell right from left. He knew he’d had a stroke and that his brain was scrambled. He knew he couldn’t trust his eyes. And he was worried he wouldn’t recognize people – that he couldn’t organize their faces in his head and remember whose features belonged to who. Dad spent his whole working life traveling – he’d seen the world and loved going someplace new and just shooting the shit with folks on a job site or wherever. Doing that kept things the right size, you know? And I started thinking about faces and individuality and just wanting to make a record for him, maybe, of how the world still looked out here. And – for me – having spent the previous bunch of years mostly at a desk, I’d been missing just wandering around talking to people. So – ask folks if I can take their picture, chat a bit, hear a good story – maybe pass that story along to Dad. This is what the world looks like out here today, Dad. this is Portland.
And the Art Truck? If you shoot it on the street, why not show it on the street? There were ~350 of those faces by the time I finished that project. So I printed em out (thanks, Kinkos!) and hung em up and let folks take the ones they wanted. And there – upper row, third from the right on the back wall – that’s my Dad. Hey, Dad. You’re not in P’land, I know, but then neither’s the Buddha, and he’s in there somewhere too. And the young girl holding her picture there? She made my night. I hope she’s running the world some day. I think she’s already got it dialed.