Ex-girlfriends: The Painstaking Photographic Recreations of Terry Boyd

Terry Boyd is a dear friend and colleague of mine.  We met at a now extinct summer program called the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.  And maybe it’s because I think I know him so well that I am always wonderfully surprised at how he creates such poignant work from his personal experiences.

In “Thinking of You,”  Terry takes to recreating generic vacation photos from a trip to Disney World with his former girlfriend.  The only difference is that they are no longer there together and several years have passed.  The recreations therefore allude to two different agents of change:  time and human decision-making.  My struggle is in determining which of these strikes my gut harder when looking at these uncanny recreations.  Is it the obvious physical (not digitally-altered) erasure of a person from these scenes and a suggestion that even the picture taker must be a different person, or is it the variation in the amount of light lighting the scene, the new set of park-goers who now fill the backgrounds, and the slight differences in appearance of our main character.

Whatever the answer, the question would not be provoked had Terry not actually booked a flight, bought a ticket to the park, and set up his tripod on the same plots of concrete and grass as the picture-taker once applied two legs to.  He redefines nostalgia, approaching it with energy and action, and makes the search for simulation a desperately precise one.  For that, I look at these photographs as the beginnings of cycles of remembering and forgetting that all point back, though maybe a few pixels this way or that way, to a split second in which a lens caught a couple of young lovers in between rides.

more at http://terrenceboyd.com/artwork

Tagged , , , , , , ,