Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

I wanted to explore the nature of identity and fantasy by focusing on young boys engaging in military simulations.  The portraits of the boys on location at various training facilities serve to document the boys during this interesting phase of adolescence as well as address the absurdity of war, and the desire to play war for recreation. 

The landscapes of paintball fields and military training facilities also serve to document a different American landscape.  Both facilities simulate real spaces, and speak to a new fabricated landscape. 

The faux tintype portraits intentionally refer to Matthew Brady‚Äôs Civil War era portraits of soldiers and battlefield landscapes.  Just as these boys are simulating war, I wanted to create tintype simulations as a way to anchor the work to both the historical and the contemporary.