I'd really like to jump in and post some new photographs here, now, but for the first day and first post, its not a good idea. So an introduction is best, though Im impatient, with my mind buzzing from the excitement of making a recent series. I finished - just as the little tornados were swirling through New York City as I made them.
My name is Steven Erra. I am legally blind, or, sight impaired is a less technical term.
I am also an artist. Yes, I can see. A very small central area of sight remains when the light is bright. I have tunnel vision, or Retinitis Pigmentosa. I hate that word. It's far too elegant a word for such a devastating, random screw up of genetics. It is getting worse, slowly. No one with RP notices the change much over the short term' it is so very slow to dissolve ones delicate retina, a gradual shutting out of the lights. I use a white cane. Last week a man in the bank, after helping me locate the tellers window, whispered to her as I stumbled away, "God thats a tough life." It is.
Why then do I make visual art? Logical question. I didn't know that I had a degenerative eye disease until I was nearly finished getting my Degree in Fine art at the Parsons School of Design. Painting is a consuming passion.
I joined a photography class for the blind and sight impaired around 1993, and it was this group of people who eventually started The Seeing With Photography Collective. Our photography teacher there, Mark Andres first intorduced us to the photographic technique of"light painting". As an art group, we've been making these works since 1997. This light painting resonates with me. You will see mainly light painting here. I have seen such strength, passion, and such astonishing images created by the artists I work with. Some are totally blind, and rely on visual descriptions of the richly nuanced images they have just created.
Soon I, along with Mark and Victorine Floyd Fludd, will be off to Moscow Russia to teach a workshop to photography students. I've wanted to go to Russia very much - its a wish come true.
For the first time we have commissioned work planned for us. Russian Esquire Magazine will publish 12 of our images soon, and we'll make some portraits for them too.There will be work exhibited in Photo Leggendo, in Rome Italy by our members at nearly the same time.
Honestly, I don't know where to start regarding posting images, in what order? Should I just go ahead and show you recent work and skip the older images? OK, thats my choice. For you, images taken recently, this spring and summer. All the work here, unless oitherwise mentioned is by myself.