For most of my life, vision has been at the center. Around age 9, I was diagnosed with keratoconus, a corneal disease which causes thinning and astigmatism. From that day forward, I’ve been concerned about and aware of the quality of my eyesight. I’ve undergone numerous corneal transplants in order to maintain my vision. In addition, my grandfather Laszlo Szabo, a Hungarian born portrait and landscape painter was a major part of my childhood – I spent many hours in his studio. During my first recovery from eye surgery in a New York hospital, Laszlo visited me and read to me excerpts from Darwin’s “Voyage of the Beagle”.
I studied engineering in college and then moved to Boston to take part in high tech. But photography entered my field of vision within a few years of beginning the tech career.
In the late 80’s I participated in a trip and workshop in photography to the gorgeous west coast of Ireland. Thank you, photographer Ron Rosenstock! After that trip and a third corneal transplant, I felt the strong pull of photography to become a major force in my life, rather than just a hobby. I earned a two year certificate in photography and started a new career path centered on the profession.
In my work, I endeavored to tone down the analytical thought of the engineer and tune in to the seeing and feeling part of myself. While working as an admissions counselor at MassArt, I completed a low residency MFA program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. In that period, I made all my photographs with inexpensive plastic Holga cameras. I used the fuzziness of the plastic lens as a means of conveying some sense of how I see. I took my toy cameras to broken down railroad yards in Baltimore, work I sometimes described as “pictures of random nothings, seen during a dream”.
Now, I’ve switched into a new modality of seeing but still looking at light and texture rather than subject. Most often I’m making everyday images near my home. I transform these nothings into abstract “paintings” using technology, imagination, and luck.