Jim Stone's photographs appear to describe facets of America's unusual and complex character. Each image is characterized by direct experience, a compelling subject, precise rendering, and a "documentary" appearance. By implication, the artist is also assembling a reflection of himself and a map of his quest for phenomenological understanding. For a deeper interpretation, the works must be seen in a group, like pieces forming a large jigsaw puzzle or paragraphs comprising a novel. Photographs torn singly from the real world can imply a number of unrelated narrative threads. Stone's works, even seen separately, gather an organized set of graphic and sociological concerns. Damage, misdirection, isolation, and failure accompany other consistent subthemes, such as obsession and its public display, the mixing of religious and military iconography in a peaceable secular society, and the ironic difference between intent and achievement.
It is tempting, in photography especially, to couch a rationale for artistic practice in terms of a direct social utility, addressing the plight of the worker or the problem of water in the southwest, for example. Rather than inciting an audience to direct action, the conversational style and fact-gathering working method represented in these photographs, however, are encouragement toward sharpened awareness, and reflect the artist's preference for a narrative anchor and gentle metaphor.
Jim Stone lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
To view more of Jim's work, please visit his website.