Photography was born from the desire to record, but as with other mediums, the impulse was elusive. Acknowledging this, my work neither confirms nor denies the seductive, or offers a pseudo-documentary reality. Instead, it illustrates the fascination we have with what we cannot see, and points to the voyeurism, escapism, and contrived fantasy that models our perception and mandates our engagements. It charges the observer to complete the context of the image: be it sexual, mundane, or contrived via synthetic dramatization.
The success of the image is about completing the unfinished narrative, the "tapping" of the threads, and the privileging of a viewer's willingness to step into what s/he can only assume is fiction and continue to suspend there disbelief of the event or moment. Much like the monster of Shelley's, the fiction should be more real than its creator.
Cultural artifacts reflect a heterogeneous ethos via the posturing of inanimate objects, signifying social, personal, and political moments germane to ones particular beliefs. Showmanship, illusion, perception, and impulse are valued components of my work and foster a "counterpart" image outside of the ones I provide. The content of the work is limited to the surface as stage--engendering fantasy, triggering memory, or producing a short story. It is a scattered, mediated vocabulary open to assimilation.
- Thomas J. Gustainis
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Little Urban Landscapes