Court
       
     
Highway
       
     
Intersection
       
     
Auto Parts
       
     
Sidewalk
       
     
Division
       
     
Gas Station
       
     
Low Rise
       
     
Miami
       
     
On Site
       
     
Rocket City
       
     
Coors Light
       
     
Court
       
     
Court

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015 (read below)

My artistic evolution within the realm of ‘Identity and the Global Lens’ has led me through numerous themes: feeling of ‘unbelonging’ as an expatriate, hair and its significance to my negotiation of religion, artificiality of Dubai contrasted with the heritage of Delhi. I am currently at a stage where structures and monuments are integral to my visualization of identity. Inspired by skyscrapers such as the Burj al Arab and Burj Khalifa, my artistic vision is to depict the effect of both iconic and prosaic structures on the consciousness of a modern society, and the manner in which its moral, aesthetic and sociopolitical values are sustained through these structures. Ultimately, my goal is to demonstrate that, seeking modernity and beauty, these jewels of the city let down the fundamental values upon which their nations are founded. In other words, respect for heritage and simplicity of life that UAE locals have valued so highly up until the 1970s have been so easily replaced by the glamour and admiration that foreign direct investment evokes, formalized through the glass and steel structures that occupy the city.

The work of Garry Winogrand has been a great source of inspiration during my formalization of this series. I have always had a keen interest in photography conducted on the streets, and as I scrolled through the pages of Winogrand: Figments from the Real World, it was evident that Winogrand was capturing the essence of what I wished to depict myself i.e. the moral and aesthetic values of a society engulfed in what is considered to most modern and developed.  I was particularly drawn towards Down from the Bronx, a series that presents photographs taken in New York City from his start in 1950 to 1971.

The subjects of Winogrand’s images are equally engaging. I found that a parallel could be drawn between the beautiful yet emotionally detached women that Winogrand shot, and the quintessential, yet physically and intellectually removed forms of architecture that I wished to capture. What makes Winogrand so appealing is his interrogation of the subject with the telephoto lens; by capturing young men and women escaping from the camera frame, reeling in their expensive purses and flamboyant airs, Winogrand was able to capture an urban society too caught up with itself.

These images were also an indication of what American thought of themselves, and this is where the role of the media image - which Winogrand indulged in as a magazine photographer - set in. I believe that the collective consciousness of a society will always be more glamorous and sensational in the media image than in reality. In other words, decades of Americans have looked upon these images to understand what it means to be American, and the aesthetic and moral values they encompass linger and shape the conversations and attitudes we hold to date, always existing more ideologically than realistically.

After looking at Garry Winogrand, my short-term project is, therefore, to revert to the prosaic structures of suburban America, to assess whether these superficial values still sustain themselves, and at a deeper level, to interrogate these structures to unravel the existence of the fundamental principles of democracy, freedom and equality upon which this nation is founded, or its lack thereof, truth in the latter ultimately placing it in within the same scope of social ‘dis-advancement’ as Dubai.

Highway
       
     
Highway

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Intersection
       
     
Intersection

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Auto Parts
       
     
Auto Parts

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Sidewalk
       
     
Sidewalk

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Division
       
     
Division

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Gas Station
       
     
Gas Station

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Low Rise
       
     
Low Rise

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Miami
       
     
Miami

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

On Site
       
     
On Site

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Rocket City
       
     
Rocket City

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015

Coors Light
       
     
Coors Light

Silver gelatin print, 20 x 24 inches, 2015