For this mini-series, I looked to artist Mike Kelley’s Educational Complex, which detailed all of the schools he had ever attended in 3-dimensional form. I set out to accomplish a similar task in the form of photographs, and treated each image with a stark, high-contrast look and feel to leave room for personal memories to resurface.
Mr. Polifroni, my 5th grade homeroom teacher, would frequently play The Rolling Stones and The Beatles on tape. (P.S. He hated the sound of styrofoam.)
I fell victim to the tide of peer pressure — both at the receiving and giving end. My so called friends, including one from elementary, turned on me, and humiliated me. In the 6th grade, I organized my classmates into bullying a guy named Andrew.
P.S. I’m sorry again, Andrew.
For the first year and a half of high school, I would eat lunch by myself under the rooftop staircase. Then, I met a circle of friends through my sister, who invited me to eat with them at the now bygone Dolcini’s cafe in the Cal State L.A. campus. We would hang out during lunch period every day, watching TV shows and movies, and criticizing nearly every other second of it -- and having a good laugh at it. We still meet about once or twice a year.
Chapman was my first so called “normal” college experience. My first roommate was a complete pothead. One night, I was locked out from the dorm room, and I resorted to sleeping underneath a computer lab table. My roommate after him had a terrible sleep disorder such that the slightest ray of light or sound might wake him. And the third one was... normal. He was into anime and played League on his laptop practically every night. We never really spoke to each other but that was OK.
At a PCC photo class I took, I met a mysterious girl named Sarah, who did vulnerable self portraits. Sometimes I think she cut herself.
I met her through my sister during orientation week, and became friends despite our deeply contrasting personalities. She was sharp-witted and sarcastic, in a fun, playful way, and wore black. I remember competing against her in Pete’s class exam review.