Advocate Magazine 1992 Issue 604 PG 80
Photo taken by Steve Greenburg.

The Definition of: (Sub-ject Mat-ter) (n)  – the topic dealt with, or the subject represented in a debate, exposition or work of art.

MY ARTWORK LITERALLY incorporates the subjects own matter into a picture of the subject itself, thus creating artwork that defines the true definition of “SUBJECT MATTER”.

I began working on the idea of EXTENDING PHOTOGRAPHY nearly 40 years ago, and in 1991 I made a few pictures of Bob Christensen using some of his ashes to make his pictures with after he died of AIDS.

The only galleries that exhibited Bob’s ash pictures at that time were several gay and lesbian centers. Years later I entered Bob’s picture at the LA County Fair and it won first place for Experimental Photography.

When a picture is made using matter that can express life and death, disease, or human struggle, then the subject matter can help tell a story and express feelings beyond the image.

For example: A picture could be made of a cancer patient who wants to tell their story by using the hair the patient loses during chemotherapy, or the pictures could be made from the medications the patient is taking.

A picture could be made of someone getting a tooth extraction and making that person’s picture with that subject’s tooth. A scientist’s picture could be made from an element the scientist is researching, or a celebrity’s picture could be made from that person’s own hair, or a loved one’s picture could be made from the deceased persons ashes!!!

Approximately 60 years ago, questionable language and ethnic/gender roles were censored and frowned upon. Now people want to say what they are thinking and feeling, and so should a picture.

If I was able to ask Paul McCartney’s daughter to photograph her father getting a haircut, and I made that picture of Paul using his hair and his daughter’s hair combined, that would make that picture unlike any other picture ever taken of Paul McCartney.

And unlike conventional photography, or inkjet printing where unlimited pictures can be made, Time and Matter Photography pictures are limited by the subject’s matter itself. For example, if a subject’s picture is made from the subject’s hair, there is normally only enough hair to make a few pictures at most.

When we combine pictures with sound, this extends the range of a motion picture, and when we combine the subject’s picture with the subject matter, this also extends the depth and importance of the picture.