Following my marriage to my husband, Michael, I was inspired to create a body of work documenting our lives together as husband and wife and the nuances of our day-to-day experiences. While admittedly ordinary and uninteresting in their premise, I had hoped images would evolve into a thoughtful portrait of intimacy and the merging of two lives. Just months after beginning the project, however, my husband and I, facing growing economic hardships, were forced to make a difficult decision to leave our Brooklyn home of ten years and move to Colorado to live with my parents. The photographs in Year of the Beast attempt document our experiences, as we to come to terms with the illusion of adulthood, surrender our notions of independence and try to achieve some balance between dreams and reality.
Capturing the mundane, yet private moments of everyday life, the images are meant to resemble personal snapshots. The mostly square format along with the warm, nostalgic color-palette, are a deliberate allusion to the visual aesthetic of Instagram and the cultural need to filter and manipulate reality through the act of image making. While the images from the Year of the Beast are indeed trivial and lighthearted in nature, the accompanying text portrays a more realistic, less optimistic, story. In this way the images go beyond the obsessive, indiscriminate chronicling found on social media sites to question the nature of consensual reality, acting as sort of a visual compromise between who we want to be, and who we really are.
In a way, the act of photographing becomes an act of reconciliation and acceptance, as my husband and I struggle with the changing nature of our parents’ American Dream and begin to forge our own. Knowing that our situation is not unique, I hope that the work I create can act as a microcosm, representative of a larger part of my generation’s experience with the trials of young adulthood in the face of a changing economic, technological and environmental landscape.