For my “Trash, NYC Sidewalks” project I photographed pieces of garbage on the sidewalks of New York City. My intention is to think about and call attention to what people discard, what they don't notice and even step on. The simple act of taking trash out of context by adding a white background, increasing color saturation and contrast, gives these objects a completely different meaning. They evolve from repulsive to beautiful, from underfoot and ignored to prominence on the wall and screen.
The project challenges the assumption that photographs are an unproblematic representation of “reality.” At the same time, I seek to convince people that these pictures are what’s really lying on the sidewalk. In shooting these objects, I set myself some rules: (1) I never touched, moved or arranged the items; (2) all the things were on the sidewalk before I arrived; and (3) when editing, I only made the background white and increased color saturation and contrast. I never added new color or modified any shapes.
“Trash, NYC Sidewalks” reveals the ambiguity and invisibility of beauty. It shows people things that they would never otherwise see or think about, but would just tread on as they walk the city’s streets.