Tag Archives: Artistic Search

Artist Statement

Ruby Bordeaux of Missoula's Cigarette Girls Burlesque Troupe with large pink fan.

I am a photographic artist obsessed with light and the ways in which it illuminates the human condition.  Light is at the core of how we perceive our world and view our existence. It is continuously changing and evolving and helps me recognize the immediacy of how rich my life has become. I focus on light when I am working outdoors and in the highly controlled confines of my studio.  Light is sculptural in every way and defines the social and psychological world I live in and I use photography to follow the movement of that journey. By definition, photo-graphy means to create a graphic element of or with light; I approach it as a process of using light as a medium for painting an image of my life.

Growing up a fourth generation cattle rancher in Western Montana, I was always denied a means of creative expression.  Art wasn’t a topic of conversation and creative endeavors were often shunned or dismissed as trivial and meaningless.  I am gay and throughout my childhood on the ranch I felt constantly out of sync, like I needed to keep the greater part of myself hidden. In college I was able to let that go and began working in the theater as a lighting designer.  The theater segued into photography, which for me has become the ultimate expression of light. I am mesmerized by the concept of Chiaroscuro Lighting and tend to explore themes of light emerging from darkness in most of my work.  I love strong, deep, rich shadows and am fascinated by what is hidden there and the beauty of its exposure

Many of my images are about romantic ideals that I feel are beginning to fade from a culture that has become desensitized by modern media.  I am inspired by the photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and his ability to take us inside his inner world and reveal his emotions, desires, and fears within the context of a single image.  My work is about getting to the core of who I am within our culture.  To reveal my own humanity, where I have been, what I have done, and how I relate to the environment that surrounds me.  I enjoy identifying and capturing the essence of pivotal moments in time and using that to explore and show the world my unique perspective.  A large part of my personal growth over the past couple years has involved going back and examining my own heritage. Photographing rodeos and the great things about Montana that once captivated me, but I then suppressed.  There is now a fondness in my heart to embrace my past and reclaim the darker side of myself I rejected for so long.  Photography allows me to seize the remarkable beauty that still lingers there.

I take a completely non-traditional approach to how I create images.  The camera is used as an extension of myself and I do not center on brand or model as long as it can be used to express a connection with my subjects.  I tend to break the rules I was taught about lighting and never work within prescribed formulas or ratios. I am technical when setting up an image and then rely on instincts and impulse when actually shooting so I can respond to what is happening within the context of the moment. It becomes more about mood, feeling, and what I see. The taking of the picture does not become a function of my expression.  It is my expression.

Optimizing Myself

Ricky's Hands - a fine art photograph of a man's torso with texture of hands across his stomach and chest.It was a cold weekend and a good one to stay in doors. I spent most of it working on optimizing this site. It has been my goal the last couple of weeks to begin to pull together a portfolio of my images and expand them so others could become more aware how proficient I am with my craft. I tend to dabble in many different areas and styles and am not just stuck in any one category. I have been a photographer for about 15 years now and as I work through my archives I am awestruck by how many images I have amassed over the years. I have been quite lazy in getting them organized and/or promoting myself. I have always been right of the cusp of what I can actually handle, workwise, and so have never needed to actually promote myself. I definitely have a unique approach to my work and am not very commercial. It has never been my goal to just crank out stuff to make a buck. I have way undercharged for my services over the years and always try to work within someone’s budget. I think most people are vaguely aware I am here and very few know the caliber of work I’ve been doing. It’s now time in which I somehow needed to put this all into perspective and at least make my presence known as a photographer in Missoula. The piece in the Missoula Art Museum is giving me a lot of exposure. The piece was featured as a half page image in The Independent last week. I was actually quite shocked to see it there. I had also placed an ad in the Wedding Fair special edition from last week. Knowing these two events were coming up at the beginning of the year, I began a campaign to rework the website about mid-December. It actually came together quite quickly. I love the new look and feel of the new site. Since I have begun the optimization process at the beginning of the New Year, the site has gone from about 5th or 6th on search engines to the front page. It surprises me how quickly it has moved. So anyway, I have spent the entire weekend completing the structure of the site, filling in all the Meta tagging, (which no one ever sees) and checking all the content and links. I see how powerful my work has become and for the first time I am beginning to see it as a collection!