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Salt Lake, Utah
Stephen Wicks
Photography, Video, Mixed Media

My attraction to photography began during my childhood. I was inspired by the photo essays in LIFE Magazine. Each week when a new issue arrived it seemed like the world beyond my home was in my hands. I wanted to meet the people who appeared in the pictures and visit the places I saw on the pages in the magazine.

As an artist I have been using photography, videography, monologues and soundscapes to tell stories about the things I see, question and value. My motivation has been to create picture stories, in print and now also on the screen, to share with others what I have experienced, discovered and captured.

My work has typically followed the documentary tradition. For years I have been creating B&W photo essays with up close and personal photographs made, often while living with my subjects over a long period of time, and sometimes returning many years later to see and capture in images the changes in that have taken place in their lives. My title for this extensive collection of photographic portfolios created between 1970 and 2008 is: Looking For America.

I am currently developing a library of “video journals” and “picture stories”; each one based on a specific portfolio topic found in the series. This format allows for a richer and more fluid form of storytelling including image montages along with narration, ambient soundscapes and field recordings when available. As each video journal is completed the video will be added to that particular portfolio page.

The first video journal “screen story” entitled “Debbie” is now available for viewing and can be found by visiting:  Photography > Looking For America > Debbie.

Between 2008 and 2018 I’ve been making digital color photographs of landscapes, places and objects found in spaces shared by the natural landscape and built environment. Although these Nature/Culture Project photographs are void of people, I believe a human trace is visible in each picture and, with this in mind, I see these images as social landscapes. It is precisely the absence of people along with a sense of their presence, as seen in the marks and artifacts left in the environment, I now find most fascinating.

My new work is taking a form I am calling – Mixed Media Memoir. These works in progress will be thematic video “screen story” pieces. They will combine  a rich pallet of content including photography, video, collage, artifacts, appropriated imagery, spoken word and soundscapes. While the topics I plan to explore and present will be broad, these “screen stories” will embrace the notion that in one way or another – all art is auto-biographical.

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