On Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles an invisible man leans over a garbage can eating a sandwich from a Styrofoam container while muttering in a made-up language. His hand is crusted in filth, yet he wears a gleaming silver ring, possibly from a previous life. Nearby on 7th Street a wraith stands on a street corner with the wild eyes, cigarette smoke pouring from his nostrils, his thumb blackened from a crack pipe. Two blocks away a boy with one arm sleeps on the sidewalk in the middle of the day, a child’s blanket draped over him. He’s covered in dirt and scabs, but wears a glittering tennis bracelet around his wrist, and a piece of gold cloth around his arm. Nearly everyone hurries by him and the others without a glance as if they were no more than stones on their path.
After photographing a series of street portraits in 2017, I decided to explore the notion of subject and object, abstracting subject into object as a way of expressing the loss of identity or personhood that so many experience every day. Each sphere was made from the subject’s portrait, and no computer-generated images were used.