ABOUT THE GHOST BIKE PROJECT
A white-painted bicycle leans, locked to a post a few feet away from the spot where a car struck and killed a bicyclist. Flowers decorate the abandoned bike, a visible reminder that life is fragile.
This is a Ghost Bike, one of over 500 such memorials chained to fences, streetlights, and signposts across the United States. I discovered Ghost Bikes while shooting in New York in May 2010, and their symbolic power affected me profoundly
Each year, the US sees more than 600 bicyclist fatalities, and more than 50,000 bicyclists report injuries. Ghost Bikes symbolize this suffering and these lost lives and challenge us to be more aware of our surroundings.
I started The Ghost Bike Project because we can pass a memorial hundreds of times and eventually forget that it is there to commemorate a human life. I combine photos of Ghost Bikes with images of live people, shot in my studio and manipulated through Photoshop to look like ghosts. The resulting images remind us to keep each other safe and represent a spirit that is no longer with us.
Over time, many Ghost Bikes have been removed. I hope this project will help the memorials and their sentiment live on. I have shot Ghost Bikes in New York, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, and Austin, and I hope to shoot more for a book.
I’ll use the money I raise on Kickstarter to complete phase one of The Ghost Bike Project, a month-long road trip in October 2012 shooting Ghost Bikes around the country. I will start in New York and continue down the east coast and up through the Midwest. I will shoot in at least 10 cities, concentrating on cities that have more Ghost Bikes.
$6300 will cover a plane ticket to New York, car rental, gas, food, and cheap motels. I will stay with friends in cities where that is an option. Extra funding will cover my expenses and help me save seed money for the eventual production and publishing of The Ghost Bike Project book.
In 2010, San Francisco Bay Guardian readers voted me best emerging artist. I’ve been been showing artwork since 2005 and have shown in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Richmond, Virginia; and Milan, Italy. I currently work and reside in San Francisco. Though I best known for surreal nudes and dramatic portraits, my work has taken a turn. In recent years, I’ve been been enormously inspired by painters, envious of their ability to put onto canvas what they see and feel. One might describe my new work as “painting with photographs.” With the use of Photoshop, I’ve finally found a way to create the vision within me.
- (30 days)