Walking on my Grave
October 18 – November 23, 2013
new works by Brett Falcon
Fueled by the boredom and ensuing rebellion of my middle class upbringing, I have always searched for a deeper, more meaningful existence. This search has led me down many roads, accompanied by many different perspectives; from living in a tent for months at a time, doing migrant work in some of the poorest, most rural parts of the country, playing bass in ramshackle bands that were merely held together by duct tape, sweat, and spirit. I spent most of my youth sampling different places, occupations, and points of view.
For the past 15 years, I have worked as a carpenter, specializing in historic preservation. I honed that skill at the renowned North Bennett Street School in Boston, where I earned my degree in preservation carpentry. After my graduation, I moved to New York, to pursue my passion for music and restoration. New York’s magic changed me. The energy, the lights, and the opportunity inspired me but what captivated me most was the underbelly of the city–the abandoned buildings and lonely people, the neglect and desperation and the endless collection of characters. I took photographs of it all and there in New York my desire to take pictures began in earnest.
When the economy collapsed in 2008, renovation jobs became scarce so I returned to Atlanta to regroup. I worked in cabinet shops and did freelance carpentry, but by then photography had become an obsession. I applied for an internship with photographers LeahAndMark, and when that internship ended I made another life-changing move: I enrolled at the Portfolio Center where I immersed myself in the art of image making. I bring my love of restoration, music and of building things with my hands to this second vocation, as I explore the themes of transcendence, rebirth, and redemption. I invite the viewer to come along as I uncover beauty in the darkness, and discover love in what, at first glance, seems unlovely.
The parallel theme in the two series in this exhibition deal with the force of nature that ultimately is much bigger than we are. We as human beings are interminably tied to these forces, for better or for worse. These forces shape us much like jagged rocks made into smooth pebbles or immutable mountaintops are reduced to ashes.
I am most fascinated by the juxtaposition of space where one force ends as the other begins. For me, that is where the real magic of transformation awaits. It is this place, where the two overlap that is most intriguing and powerful to me. I am not afraid to see and explore subjects that others might avoid; I can focus on things that are dark or difficult. I can fully embrace and celebrate those that are beautiful.
The River began as a school assignment but quickly grew into something greater. I have personally experienced radical transformation in my life and this body of work is a metaphor for my experience. The models are friends who have taken the same path to recovery that I have. This work was photographed in early morning light to reinforce the themes of redemption, rebirth, and of the continuing flow of life.
Modern Day Witches was a personal project, an exploration of the darker, or slightly more sinister side of life. I traveled to the haunted city of Savannah especially to photograph Pagans and Wiccans. These photographs were produced by using a combination of natural and artificial light, which accentuated the eerie setting and the mysterious spirit of the models.