Over a two week period in the summer of 2013, hot and humid weather conditions over Boston created large, violent and quickly moving thunderstorms. As if on cue in the late afternoon, the cumulus clouds collected and welled upwards creating giant multiple thunder cells; and the city was pummeled with hail, rain, and lightning.
As the storms began to dissipate, strong horizontally raking light from the setting sun made vibrant the textures and roiling turmoil of the clouds. I tried to capture this visual violence with my camera while dodging between episodes of hail, rain, and lightning. At first I thought this was similar to the wild drama the Hudson River School painters portrayed with their pastoral and romantic stormy skies. But at ten stories up on the roof of my Fort Point studio, I started to become aware that I was clearly exposed to danger. My adrenal glands took over and they snapped awake a sense of fear and trepidation that came from a deep and primitive part within me. I was seeing the raw, pulsating, and heart pounding music of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Weeks later while processing the images on my computer, I was finding the photographs were not emoting the same power that overwhelmed me during the storms. I decided to think about using the colors your retina and mind sees during an ‘after image’ phenomena. By reversing the colors captured by the camera, then pushing and altering the RGB channels to extremes, the resulting images on my computer screen gave me the same primordial sense that overcame me on the roof. It seemed I was tapping into atavistic feeling of pre-language, and colors were the only words I understood.
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photos from this series are in the collections of the Boston Athenæum and The Girard