TREVOR DENMAN | BOSTON MA, USA
I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in photography. After school, I spent about a year traveling around America, which broadened my consciousness and changed the direction of my work entirely. I currently work in Boston and have been using my spare time to photograph poles.
What is your work about?
I never set out to make such cynical work, but I couldn’t help but realize that my photographs were illustrating a feeling of despondency. Being on the road was an enlightening experience for me and opened my eyes to a lot of the difficulties and complications that I never encountered growing up. I began to feel sort of worthless being an artist, asking if what I was doing was helping anybody but myself. My work had become about this kind of disappointed, emotional state of mind interconnected with growing up. I’ve made colorful, romanticized portraits of people, places and objects, but their beauty is covering up this idea of collapse or false truth. I’m grateful to have had the privilege and opportunity to be awakened by traveling, but it had left me with an off-putting aftertaste.
How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
Everything I‘ve ever done with a camera, I have related right back to my interest in skateboarding. These activities have allowed me to interact with the world in ways that are personal, expressive and improvisational. Neither comes easy or fast. In order to achieve something that you feel good about, it takes an immense amount of time, energy, effort and patience. I find value in this rigorous process of working. The excitement of achieving something after spending countless hours, days, and weeks of failing at, is one of the most beautiful and empowering feelings in the world. Shooting on film has always pushed me to work harder and be more aware as a photographer, which is something I respect.