DEERTOWN

statement



It started when I moved to New Jersey from New York City.  Each morning and evening, deer would wander into my backyard to casually nibble on the grass.  These deer were not bothered by the presence of dogs or humans.  In fact, they barely bothered to look up.  Every day on the drive to work, I encountered an unimaginable number of dead deer by the roadside.


I began to photograph them.  I was both seduced and repulsed.  It was horrific to view dead animals so closely, though they maintained incredible beauty.  The images in Deertown I mimic my experience – they are formally beautiful yet gut-wrenchingly detailed.  While I felt compelled to create these photographs, they are morally troubling.  They pose no solution.  As a suburban commuter I am part of the problem.  I conceived a novel solution.  What if the deer moved in with us?


The second part of Deertown poses that absurd resolution.  In these images I have appropriated photographs from luxury home magazines and populated them with deer from hunting photographs and internet snapshots.  The staged views of these spacious homes are complete with newly painted walls and vases of fresh flowers.  They contain neither clutter nor dust.  They offer a promise of wealth, relaxation and fulfillment.  Through digital collage I have transformed the original images into a grotesque parody of their own sanitized perfection.  At times the deer appear dead at the scene, sullying an otherwise pristine home.  In alternate scenes, deer and man cohabitate peacefully in an imagined suburban utopia.  Deertown is a study in parallel realities.  The first we recognize, the second envisions an alternate existence.