An Artist's Statement

Gordon Clark - Photographer

My self-image and intent as a photographer has shifted dramatically during the past decade; at this juncture in my personal evolution my mission is to identify those rare individuals within society who jar and challenge our deepest beliefs and aesthetic aspirations.

I deliberately interfere with nature by inserting the subject into carefully selected and choreographed environments that compel viewers to interpret the powerful dilemmas at play within each subject's life.

Most recently, my focus has been to explore the life-details of Turner Adams, an alter-boy turned convict. Twenty-four years of hard prison life has cluttered every square centimeter of Turner's skin with a rash of tattoos and hardened his glare. Turner is a perfect canvas through which I explore the weave and path of an individual's unfortunate circumstances in a society in turmoil.

Specifically, I journey the viewer back to District Six; the place of Turner's happy childhood; posing his naked tattooed frame against the still tumbled-down ruins of his old home.

In some scenarios, he deliberately assumes a ferocious glare, locking eyes with the viewer with the objective of stoking a somewhat uncomfortable tension for the viewer in holding it.

Other images are a mirroring between the taboo of the hand-scrawled jail-chop across his body, and the almost apocalyptic decay of the landscape in which he is thrust. The echo of each amplifying the power of the other intends to evoke a sense of something valuable that is deeply lost through needless neglect.