Pleasure of Abjection, 2020

Untitled #1, Pleasure of Abjection, 2020
This project began four years ago, while living in New York City in the summer of 2018. Partaking in the hedonism and splendors of nightlife, I bore witness to the trash, the vomit, the people. My fascination with emesis thus began.

I remember sending the photos to my friends only to elicit unanimously negative reactions. They were so repulsed by the idea of vomit. I think I find beauty in the filthiness. It reminds of the hedonistic nights followed by the inevitable hurling.

I began digitally compositing the images at the beginning of COVID-19 March 2020. I have to credit my friend, mentor, and fellow artist Laura Letinsky for instilling an appreciation for ambiguity in images—or rather the capacity of an image to hold multiplicities.

It was important for me to have a theoretical framework in thinking about the series as a whole. However, after two years of sitting on these images, I’ve begun to eschew the ideas that were so important during the creative process. Instead, I find the feelings simply visceral.

Insofar as Pleasure of Abjection is a methodology, it remains a gut feeling at its core.

Read the accompanying essay here.