Holiday/Everyday - Exhibition opening night

I’d like to start by saying thank you to everyone who turned out to my exhibition this weekend at Book & Job Gallery on Geary st in San Francisco. It really didn’t feel like an exhibition as much as a family reunion. There were people there whom I hadn’t seen in years, some from college, some from family and some of those special people who slip through the cracks when life gets crazy.

The most popular thing that evening(besides the bar) was the limited edition books that went alongside the exhibition - “Holiday/Everyday” and “Photographs from the streets of Greece.” There’s still some left, so feel free to email me if you’re interested in picking up a copy for yourself.

Below you will find the artist’s statement that was posted at the exhibition as well as a time lapse from the setup to the show all the way to the end of the night. Thanks again for everyone who came out and as for the rest of you, I hope to see you all soon.

Greece is at an economic breaking point.
The euro is collapsing due to greedy banks, international debt, a government that ignores tax evaders, a poor job market that has “more stores than people” and a local economy structure that worships tourism. The average income for an individual in Athens is around €600 a month, and the apprehension towards foreigners is palpable. Tourists come to see the ruins in Greece, the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Library, the ruins in Delphi. They come with €1000 or more to spend on museum tickets, trinkets and memorabilia, not even counting what they will spend on flights, hotels and transportation. 

The disparity weighs heavy in the air with homeless people, scam artists and honest shopkeepers trying desperately to get out-of-towners to part with their precious euros that they have such an abundance of, while the locals struggle with what little they have. There is a constant underlying feeling of stress, from locals scoffing when tourists ask for directions, con-men who would slip a bracelet on to some unsuspecting person’s wrist and demand money, to restauranteurs who would flat out beg you to eat at their establishment. But the Greek people are certainly resilient. There were parties nearly every day/night in main squares, packed with music, drinking and dancing. Gypsy women would walk on glass, juggle fire and prance around while street performers wearing Wu-Tang Clan t-shirts would challenge bystanders to rap battles.

San Francisco is known for its marches and protests, being ground zero for the Free Love Movement in the 1960s, Human Rights Movements and its support for gay rights. Today these marches happen on a weekly basis or so, with a sort of half-hearted support from many of it’s participators, typically young twenty-somethings with cushy tech jobs who desperately want to be part of something but don’t really stand for anything. In Athens there are pro-communism demonstrations and marches daily.

In my time in Greece, I explored the streets of Athens, the ruins in Delphi and even made my way to Crete, a small fishing island southeast of the continent. My observations were many, ranging from the desperate economic situation among the locals to the ravenous tourists taking selfies with ancient ruins and rushing to buy cheap trinkets to commemorate their adventures abroad. The most common observation I had however, especially in Athens, was that of a community struggling to stay together. 

Images were captured on old or expired film to show stark the contrast from it’s clean digital counterpart in an effort to show two sides of a coin. There’s something that seems so right about using a traditional process while visiting a place with so much ancient history. Mandatory, even.

Film Archives #1 - Wolves in Lake Tahoe

In July of 2014 I had the pleasure of hiking with and documenting a small group of people for a few days in the mountains of Lake Tahoe. What made this group so unique and special was that they raised Wolves - that’s right, wolves.
             These people had a small remote Cabin just west of Soda Springs, CA and their back yard was basically the mountains. The wolves themselves were treated like one would treat a dog, but they had a pack mentality that you would not see amongst your average grouping of domestic pets. There was definitely a pecking order and you needed to earn “respect” from the pack if you wanted to “tag along” with them. 
             Luckily for me, a friend of mine had taken one of these wolves and raised him away from the rest of his siblings in the Bay Area and since he knew and liked me, I would have an easier time becoming “accepted” within the pack.

Goji was more like a dog than his siblings. He was pretty friendly towards people though he was a little apprehensive of me at first. He was very protective of his owner, Reyna and the other members of his respective “pack”… An older short-haired shepard, a house cat and a very energetic terrier.
             Reyna tried to socialize Goji with other dogs as much as possible, but he loved nothing more than visiting his brothers and sisters in Lake Tahoe. He perked right up as we drove down the winding dirt road to Ana and Cassidy’s place.

Goji played a very big role in getting me accepted in the pack - he went so far as to growl at his own siblings if they were to approach me in any sort of aggressive manner or give me sideways glances. Even so, I was challenged by a few of the younger ones and when you’re faced by an animal with it’s hackles raised there’s not much you can do beside stand your ground - or I would never be accepted into the pack. 
             They were hesitant but eventually warmed up to me - maybe that’s a bit of a strong word, they tolerated me. Except, oddly enough, by the alpha-male Albert. He was a big ol’ sweetheart and took to me right away.
             Our plans were to camp and hike around the mountains for a few days so I packed only mechanical 35mm film cameras - I didn’t want to have to deal with the stress of dying batteries.

And so our adventure began, we spent 3 days and 2 nights in the mountains of Tahoe, and if you’ve never gone camping with a pack of wolves - or at least a large group of dogs - I highly recommend it.

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