Carlos Tarrats Statement

Artist Statement
I have always been interested in the subjectivity of seeing. Like looking at inkblots or watching clouds. Visually I try to construct my images in a metaphorical and abstract way so that the viewer’s imagination is free to explore and derive their own thoughts and conclusions independent of my own. Which is why, up until this point, the protagonists of my images have been plant life. I like to use flora because for the most part, it has no singular inherent meaning. And what meaning a particular species may have is typically not universal to all cultures or regions.

The versatility of plant life as subject is crucial. It allows me to play upon the basic themes that I construct each image around. Every time I pick up the camera, I’m thinking about life, death, hope and conflict. Hope is the possibility for something else, not necessarily something better and yet not necessarily something worse. Whether one is better than the other depends on one’s perception. It’s the uncertainty of the situation that gives the image tension and creates conflict. A lot of the time I’ll try to accentuate this by my use of competing elements within the composition and/or contrasting colors. It’s very important that all of the elements of the image are real. The colors, scratches, and props all exist on set. I like the idea of taking the real and arranging it in such a way that reality is visually distorted, but not structurally. Because in truth, my images are real places that did exist at one time, thought they looked nothing like what you see now.

Process Statement
Images are not digital manipulations. They are constructed on set, then printed digitally onto Kodak photographic paper.

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