About the Series

When Alfred Stieglitz pointed his camera skyward in 1922, and began photographing clouds, he was attempting something that had arguably never been done before: purely abstract photography. Void of any directional or historical reference points, Stieglitz created images that could have been taken anywhere, anytime, and using a subject available to everyone – clouds. These photographs were often displayed in any orientation purposefully forcing viewers to digest what they knew to be clouds as abstract forms instead. Stieglitz believed that the photographs would function evocatively, and, because of the lack of reference points, the viewer would have to think more about how the photograph made them feel rather than what the image was depicting.

I had admired Stieglitz’s work while in school and saw a connection in his cloud photographs to my grandmother’s paintings. My grandmother, Florence Riso-Forte, was a painter who created larger-than-life abstracts. I would find myself mesmerized in front of the rolling and blending colors that filled her work. Her paintings told stories, and with each, a different feeling arose. As an homage to Stieglitz and my grandmother, I set out on my own journey towards abstract photography. Unlike Stieglitz who looked to the sky, I pointed my camera to the ground in one of my grandmother’s favorite places, coastal Maine.

Ebbing and flowing with the ocean by its side, the 2500-mile coastline of Maine has been shaped by the geological movements of the earth and the differential erosion occurring over the last 500 million years. “Weathered” explores the erosion of this bedrock as a metaphor for the human experience and the emotions we feel throughout life’s journey. As the ocean has morphed Maine’s coastline, time and life experiences mold and shape us into the person looking back at us in the mirror. Those folds and wrinkles. Perhaps formed by years of laughter or from a furrowed brow working diligently towards a goal near in sight. That scar. Maybe a happy story or a sad one. Many of the changes we go through in life happen slowly and are not noticeable to the naked eye. The changes in our lives come from creating routines that carve channels into our days for us to follow. It is only when we pause for a moment, step back, and reflect on what we have gone through that we may recognize those changes. Coastal Maine has experienced volcanoes, oceanic openings and closings, erosion of mountains, and continues to evolve today. The folds, cracks, striations of color, and other irregularities in the bedrock are mother nature’s wrinkles, scars, and birthmarks. As time takes its toll on both of us, more is revealed to the world. It’s inevitable.

Time leaves us all weathered.

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