ElblocDeltoniGuida - For me, this work is reminiscent of themes seen in literature and folkloric storytelling. I’m interested to hear if this was something you were initially inspired by and what other mediums or artists you were looking at when making this work?
The themes and ideas Pine Tree Ballads explores are derived from a variety of sources of inspiration. I borrow from and am influenced greatly by literature and poetry, Buddhism, Voodoo and Catholicism; Nordic, Greek, Native American and Spanish mythology; eastern woodblock prints/scrolls, Northeast American painters, and Japanese photographers; fantasy novels and video games, and, most importantly, the childhood imaginings of my daughter.
I believe family identity and the character of a specific landscape, a sense of place, is influenced by a wide variety of folkloric, cultural, literary, and personal influences. My goal is to constantly play these off each other and complicate Pine Tree Ballads as a photographic sequence that inspires a reader to decode the “text” multiple times through multiple readings.
Throwing out names influencing the series is a fun exercise but an almost endless task:
Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost’s poem “Directive,” Sharon Olds, Matt Rasmussen’s poetry book Black Aperture, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Buddha, The Journals Of Lewis And Clark, Thomas Merton, The Bible (Old Testament), William Blake “The Proverbs of Hell,” The Legend of Zelda video game, Shigeru Miyamoto’s narrative inventiveness, Terry Brooks’ fantasy novels, Alec Soth’s Broken Manual, Nirvana’s unplugged, haunting rendition of Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood, Mathew Brady’s deteriorating glass plates, Michel Gondry’s dreams becoming films, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Nine Inch Nails, David Foster Wallace’s footnotes, Umberto Eco’s originality, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Homer (of The Odyssey not Simpson), Andrew Wyeth, Keith Carter, White Stripes “Icky Thump,” Krilanovich’s novel The Orange Eats Creeps, Sally Mann, musician Beck for challenging convention, Dario Robleto’s sympathetic magic, Trenton Doyle Hancock’s characterization, Jane Addiction’s live remake of “Sympathy of the Devil,” William Kentridge’s sense of movement, Thomas Barrow’s Cancellations, Daido Moriyama, Takashi Homma’s First, Jay Comes, Rinko Kawauchi’s mastery of sequence and blown highlights in Illuminance, the emotional mood Masahisa Fukase’s The Solitude of Ravens , Bill Morrison’s film Decasia, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Mark Twain, the material and conceptual experimentation of Paul Graham’s American Night, Paul Nougé, Monet’s atmosphere, Guillermo del Toro’s dreams, Cormac McCarthy’s novels The Road and Blood Meridian , the wonder and mystery of Mars Rover Opportunity’s first transmitted images, Sharon Harper’s universe, Seba Kurtis’ material phenomenology, Godspeed You Black Emperor’s emotional degradation and suspense, Chris McCaw’s sun-burned physical prints, Juergen Teller’s technical spontaneity and his book The Keys to the House, Robert Frank’s formal unbalance, Chris Verene’s enduring family story, Annie Dillard’s micro details of natural phenomena, Charles Darwin’s repressed sexuality, Joshua Lutz’s courage in Hesistating Beauty, Yi-Fu Tuan, the overlooked but powerful photobook Xavier Zimbardo’s Monks of Dust, Thorsten Brinkman’s humor, and many more. (riaucitizen.com)
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