KD: “Shame,” “Fallen,” and“Freak” come off almost as slurs. Are these insults directed at anyone oranything?
GW: Thesethree images represent the peak emotions I felt when my wife and I lost ourbaby —the total collapse that surrounded the event. These words wereself-inflected. It’spure self-destruction. It’s very dark stuff. These images show the intensity ofthe pain, the horror. You see, your life is collapsing but everything elsestays normal; life continues. You suddenlyfall into this bubble of tragedy, but if you look outside, everybody else isokay. The contrast is shattering. You’re isolated in pain.
KD: The head of the horse in “Vitae Fratrum” is blurred and cutoff. For some reason I imagine it to be a unicorn...
GW: “VitaeFratrum” is an obscure Latin term referring to the monasticlife. It could be translated as: the life of the Brother. But here I’m talkingabout the life of the artist, and how hard it is. If you think about it, it’sa rough life: you spend all the money you make on your art and most of thetime, it’s art for art’s sake. It’s a life of sacrificethat is monastic in many ways.
Thehorse that you see as a unicorn represents inspiration: the muse. You can’t seeits face because it’s a magical being. You can only see its face with the eyesof your imagination.
KD:Why blur your subjects?
GW: I’mtrying to depict thoughts and emotions in my images, not actual scenery. Allthe images are blurred because our thoughts and emotions are always a littlebit fuzzy. It also forces the viewers to imagine the details— a way for them to appropriate these images.
KD:The last image, “Experience,” is ethereal-looking.Why end there? Are you comfortable enough now with the past 10 years that youcan chock everything up to experience?
GW:“Experience” is not a noun dropped as a final statement. It’s a verb. It’s aninvitation for the viewer that says, “Gofor it!” — a sort of carpe diem, ifyou will. To me, life is not to be avoided, or protected from, it isto be lived even if it hurts. “Experience” is not an end. It’s a beginning.
KD: The title of the series is “High: Lost & Found.” Let’s start with “high.” What kind of high areyou referring to?
GW: Thereare many highs in life. I’ll let you pick one. There’s the high that comes fromwhat Paulo Coelho calls “the ethic of risk,” choosing to be daring whileeverything around you screams you shouldn’t. It’s the high of passion and love.It’s the high of living this curious human existence with all its complexity.There is also, of course, the high that comes from wine, champagne ordrugs. The myth of Dionysus, ritualmadness and ecstasy — raw sexual energy. And then there’s the manic highthat comes with the full moon, an inexplicable rush ofcreative energy.
KD: We’ve spoken aboutwhat was lost. So whatwas found?
GW:There’s this incomprehensible play called “Life” and there’severything in it: the good, the bad, the ugly… But we only want the good. We’relike children who only want to dine on ice cream for the rest of our life. It’ssilly. But perhaps, if we pay attention when it hurts, we can realize thatthere is something waiting for us — a new dimensionin our life. I call this the “poetic dimension.” That’swhat I show in my images. That’s what I’ve found.