My California is an exploration of all 58 counties within my home state, a state that has often been romanticized and misunderstood. My project is the compilation of countless solo road trips, some made with purpose, others to simply understand my relationship to place. The result is that I am left with a profound appreciation for land that holds a history of possibility, and discovered more about myself as an artist through solo travel.
As a native Californian I see and experience the state differently than how it is portrayed in film and media. I have traveled the varied landscape that spans 770 miles from Oregon to Mexico with the second-highest peak and the lowest elevation in the country. There is snow, sand, beaches, alpine forests, deserts, unique biomes, large-scale agriculture, small farms, dense urban environments, and all the transition zones in between.
Rather than be overwhelmed with this motherlode of rich landscape, I have photographed the details: the markings of presence and history, the flora and fauna, and of course, the people. California is known for its golden light, but with My California, I was looking for a way to see differently. Created as black and white photographs, the results are moments, sometimes humorous or mystical, but at the core is my own inner journey that comes from time spent alone. It’s that inner narration of what I bear witness to that has made this a sometimes lonely, but always revelatory experience.