Chroma Room (1977)

I lived in a second story house on Western Avenue in Los Angeles the time. My dear friend, John Walker lived downstairs. There were a lot of parties with decent drugs and liquor always available. Today the house is gone and there is a high priced health spa that tapped into the strange smelling spring in the back yard that smelled and made gardening impossible. The room that I made the images in was well lit and for this work I lived like a hermit in that room. My greatest influence at the time was theater productions and a desire to explore color symbolism along with the aspects of paint to film. I painted the room thirteen times. The primary colors of paint and the secondary colors as well as black and white. I kept a “dream, fantasy and nightmares” journal which I felt was influenced by my living in the colored room. I set up a medium format camera in one position which I believed was the audience’s point of view. Over the next 11 months I constructed sets with props and models which were mostly the outcome of the dreams, fantasies and nightmares. At least fifty images were printed by Wally McGalliard in North Hollywood. I traded him his expert services with an Ansel Adams print and a George Tice print. My interest in directorial mode photography and to develop a solid body of work that had a context was important. I also knew that I had to have this kind of portfolio to get into a graduate program and ultimately I did at UCLA with Robert Heinecken. I remember Heinecken telling me that the pictures were fair to mediocre but the obsessive process was what interested him in me. Heinecken always had succinct words for me and to this day I realize that a small few of the images still hold up but my pathway as a tableau photographer/artist with obsessive tendencies has continued to define my working processes almost forty years later.