Unarmed

I photograph boxers, mixed martial arts fighters, ring girls and spectators engaged in amateur public fights. Functioning as an American rite of passage, these public showdowns contain both ceremonial pageantry and messy, bodily chaos. I am interested in the rituals surrounding these public spectacles, the fighters’ ability and inability to harness a sense of bravado, and the emotional space required to train for and execute full contact combat with another human being. Through the act of making photographs, I attempt to give reverence to the primal humanness of this pursuit. As the official ringside photographer, I make images for the fighters, promoters, and advertisers, while simultaneously contributing to my fine art practice. Utilizing a combination of choreographed images and straight visual documents, I am influenced by tough-guy personas and stereotypical images of fight culture machismo supplied by popular culture. The photographs attempt to acknowledge these formulaic images of masculinity while examining the edges of the pomp and circumstance along the ring.


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