|left: #15 [sold] right: #31|
Digital photographs printed on paper, 4x4" ©2006
From Mar Vista
I moved to Mar Vista six years ago into a suburban tract developed in 1953. I noticed that many of the homes have roofline embellishments that look very much like birdhouses. (The architectural term for them is dovecotes). I began photographing these as I walked around the neighborhood. Upon further study, I discovered there were six major styles of dovecote that could be subdivided into placement on roofline, coloration, orifice quantity and shape. My area of study was bounded by the following streets: Walgrove, Rose, Beethoven, and Palms. The photographs were shot from February 2003 – March 2006.
Photography is an integral component of my work process but I do not consider myself a photographer. I use the medium more as a creative tool to record scenes that interest me and to help organize my thoughts. When I shot these images (with a digital Nikon Coolpix 995), I was concentrating on getting as centered and symmetrical a composition as I could. My subsequent digital manipulation in Photoshop was minimal. I deliberately desaturated the colors to evoke a nostalgic feel - suggesting the look of old faded snapshots. I cropped and sized to mimic old Polaroids and to keep the encounter intimate. The final output is Epson inkjet on Epson Fine Art paper.
Serial themes are a constant in my work - no matter what the medium or subject matter. Perhaps this arises from my work as a printmaker during my formative years as an artist, or perhaps it's my nature to organize + categorize things in multiples. Artists that work in this manner inspire me greatly -- from Monet's haystacks to Ed Ruscha's images of LA apartment buildings. I also have been influenced by Ruscha’s slyly humorous deadpan approach in his photographic work.
Many of the homes in Mar Vista are undergoing remodeling as new owners require more space. The 50's ranch homes and their whimsical details are steadily disappearing. I've recorded a few of them here -- for when I think of my neighborhood, the fake birdhouses are the first thing that come to mind.
Anne M Bray