Kirk Greeno Carter
My photographic education has been entirely autodidactic, untrammeled by any formal instruction; my work is the product of a stubborn mind making persistent effort. As a result, the work is perhaps not so refined or significant as it might be, but it is undeniably mine, and given the choice of the two I will take the latter.
My vision is my own and has been since I began taking photographs over twenty-five years ago; photography gives one the opportunity to exercise and articulate a singular voice, and in the end it is hard to believe that one is ever heard so well as he is when he speaks alone. Using that voice in my photography, I find comfort in discovering and revealing order where often, in our hurried world and overwhelmed lives, we see chaos, or worse yet, see nothing meaningful at all.
As for the craft itself, I shepherd my photographs from start-to-finish – I shoot them, process them, print and tone them, mat and mount them. And when I think something is good enough to go on my or someone else’s wall I often build the frame that it will sit in. Unlike vision, craft is something that can be learned and honed and I am not reticent to apply new skills and use new tools if they help me make better art.
I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1986 with a degree in Motion Picture and Television Production and moved to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. In the ensuing years I have worked on the Emmy Award-winning drama L.A.LAW and have written, produced, directed, and edited documentary films for cable television, among them the biography Houdini for The Discovery Channel. Most recently, I wrote, directed, co-produced, and edited the feature-length documentary Path of Most Resistance: The Brief Public Life of Victoria Woodhull, which looks at the life of the first woman to run for president in 1872 – fifty years before women won the right to vote. The film includes some wonderful interviews with Naomi Wolf, Ellen Goodman, Pat Morrison, and Geraldine Ferraro.
Though I enjoy filmmaking, there is no denying that it is, of necessity, a collaborative endeavor and renders a collaborative result. Photography gives one the opportunity to articulate a distinctive and precise vision and in the end I prefer that sort of art over the choir’s bounty.