The inspiration for the Uncanny Circus grew from my fascination with the irresistible seduction proffered by traveling carnivals. With a sly wink and sleight of hand they offer escapism and lurid voyeurism. But unlike any other entertainment, fairgoers explicitly understand and except that they are soft prey, while the carnies are their steel-eyed predators. To enter their darkened oilcloth tents is to enter at one’s own risk, which is, of course, part of the thrill.
The style of the Uncanny Circus was influenced by the sepia tones of Victorian-era cabinet cards, pastel hand-colorized photos, and my experience printing 4x5 photographs in a dark room where I made great efforts to allow light leaks to create distressed edges. The images in this series are assemblage paintings that were created by compositing many AI-generated elements with my own digital painting.