Artist Statement

I have no formal training as an artist. I started taking pictures as a teenager, got my first film camera (Canon EOS Rebel G) in 1999, transitioned to a digital SLR (Nikon D90) in 2009, and upgraded to a full-frame (Nikon D610) in 2015. I do not have a studio or any special equipment beside my two lenses. I use simple post-processing techniques to edit my images. Photography is my favorite medium because it allows me to preserve beautiful memories indefinitely, look more closely at the world around me, and connect with people despite cultural/language barriers. I am fascinated by traditional communities, urban exploration, and artistic expression. I try to fully immerse myself in every environment and learn about different ways of life so I can report back the true essence of a place. I think a good photograph broadens the mind and has the power to undo our assumptions about the world.

I have been to 28 countries and my bucket list is constantly growing. I travel to explore the tremendous beauty and cultural diversity of this planet. I travel to get lost in the adventure of discovery. I travel to seek real human connection. I travel to challenge myself and put things back in perspective. I have been to the most important Christian, Judaic, and Hindu cities. I have seen the world’s largest religious monument. I have visited ancient Buddhist, Jain, Islamic, Roman, Nabatean, and Nubian sites. I have touched the intricate carvings of the Alhambra, the delicate stone inlays of the Taj Mahal, the bas-reliefs of the Temple of Horus, and remnants of the Berlin Wall. I have shed tears inside Yad Vashem, the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, and 9/11 Memorial Museum. I have slept in a haveli, ryokan, cave hotel, houseboat, and under the stars in the Thar Desert. I have woken up to the sound of bombs. I have walked through the biggest slum in Africa. I have smelled dead bodies burning on the banks of Ganges River. I have tasted delectable laal maas, fugu shirako, and alligator quiche. I have cruised the Nile River and Kerala Backwaters. I have floated in the Dead Sea and swum in the fresh water pools of Wadi Shab. I have soaked in a hammam, an onsen, and the Playboy Mansion jacuzzi. I have been to a Maasai village and a few feet away from lions feasting on a buffalo. I have hiked to the highest point in the contiguous US and summited the tallest free-standing mountain on earth. I have run the San Diego Marathon and tried surfing in Mexico, ziplining in Guatemala, ultralight flying in Costa Rica, scuba diving in Florida, horseback riding in Colorado, snowboarding in Utah, skydiving in California, and paragliding in Lebanon. I have sprained my knee in Florence, gotten bedbug bites in Siem Reap, and had my purse stolen in Paris. I have returned to my father’s birthplace, which was not possible when I lived 80 miles away, but only after I immigrated, obtained a PhD, and worked with the US Government.

In my free time, I also like to paint and create mixed media pieces. I mainly use acrylic, collage, and spray paint on paper, canvas, or wood. Some of my paintings are inspired by – or a replication of – artwork I find online or at galleries. I am especially drawn to dark, surrealistic, lowbrow art as well as taxidermy and antiques.

I have displayed my art at the following group exhibitions:
Ruin’s Night Gallery (Monte Cristo Club, Los Angeles) – March 2009
Garden of Lost Dreams (Mi Alma Echo Gardens, Echo Park) – July 2011
Downtown Art Walk (620 S. Main St., Los Angeles) – Oct 2011
Brite People (Echoes Under Sunset, Echo Park) – Aug 2012
Mirrors of the Mind: The Psychotherapist as Artist (Gus Harper Gallery, Los Angeles) – Sept 2012
Mirrors of the Mind: The Psychotherapist as Artist (Art Share L.A.) – Nov 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
One of my photographs is featured in The History of Dying Stars, a book of poetry and art by Oscar Cisneros.

I have been on set as an extra for a 2012 Super Bowl commercial. I have collaborated with many talented photographers to create artistic images or showcase designer products. I have done editorial and commercial print modeling which resulted in the following publications:
Gothic Beauty Magazine, Issue #32, Dec 2010
Von Gutenberg Magazine, Issue #4, Dec 2010
Carson Magazine, Issue #1, April 2011
Coco Eco Magazine, Issue #23, July 2012
HeArt Magazine, September 2013
Shots Magazine, Issue #120, Summer 2013