The project that I am currently most involved with is titled Urban Pieces. This work started as a vague impulse to capture hand-painted color as a part of the urban landscape. It became the basis for my MFA thesis project and subsequently became available as a series of limited edition prints. My ongoing work is toward compiling these and many more images and related texts - such as essays from urban planners, architects and artists (muralists and graffiti writers) - into a published book. There are many topics that sprout from this project including photographic genres, the documentary tradition, street art, cultural and personal expressiveness, legality of graffiti, the vernacular urban landscape, a sense of place, finding compelling photographic projects, etc. And I will turn to these topics in later posts. Right now, I wanted to introduce this project through the following statement abstract:
"Urban Pieces results from my personal search in the urban environment for a sense of place – that feeling that a place is special and unique with authentic human attachment and belonging. Specifically, I have sought out and photographed where hand-painted murals and graffiti masterpieces visually intersect with elements of the vernacular urban landscape. I intend for each photograph to capture an instance where I found color and cultural expressiveness that creates for me a one of a kind experience of these places that would not happen if the pedestrian elements were there alone without these touches of the human hand."
The mastered and printed images included in the series to date can be found at my website, R. A. Mitchell Photography. Under the "Project" menu, there is an Urban Pieces item.