Joshua Tarplin

I am interested in finding my sealegs. I need my sealegs to stay balanced between all that I know and all that I see, especially as I remain adrift among an infinite swamp of imagery. I glance up at a person walking toward me on the sidewalk and their image comes to me, quick and clean and describing haphazardly, a fragment. I stare at a lover for months and struggle, caught in between comprehension of him and my image of the others waiting. Wandering through my images I come to recognize and gain control over their power to amplify, filter, and suppress how I imagine the world around me.

Exploring how images influence my vision, I mix many types. Some images seem sliced from the stream of perception flowing through my eyes; others waver buried in layers of recapitulation or destabilization expanding their potential. Fusing photographs disparate in style and made using various technologies, I catch the texture of an anonymous and yet entirely particular perception. I want to talk about the world on a level where vision and imagination become reason, on a level where my own personal visual grammar blends with and exposes the murky visual grammar of photographic meaning. My photographs tease out these grammars not like translation through a codex but like detection of the composition of a solar system according to the machinations of that system’s gravity.

My work represents my collaboration with images to see photography open up the seams of the world, to create a space where vision becomes an attitude of consciousness aimed at understanding myself and the world around me. I ask: what are the bonds between myself, others, and our collective world; how are those bonds represented; and how can those bonds be untangled photographically to appreciate their opacity. Among my images I come to understand the disconnect between reality (actuality) and possibility and uncover a more faithful picture of myself and my world fashioned by the wild ambiguity of photographs.

Joshua Tarplin is an American artist, holding degrees in Art and the History of Art from Yale University, and currently resides in Los Angeles with his cameras Wallace, Camille, and Frank. He engages in the rituals of photographic technology to understand how images infect the meaning of one’s life; he explores the pleasure of disordered networks to offer a stress-free point of view. His photographs live gladly in the doubtful space between image and imagination and knowledge. They see a strict, unredeemable world with an imaginative reason – offering a reality bent and folded by strange sensations, a lens for Josh to rest in and view all the possibilities.

Josh has exhibited nationally and internationally. He recently published his first book titled Sealegs.