Caleb Cole tells great stories. In Other People’s Clothes, Caleb aims to try other personalities on for size, fit, feel and circumstance. Like a bit of theatre, Cole’s images have a bit of drama, lighting and emotion. We feel for his characters. His face remains constant – is it a sense of loss? Of Being lost? Of never quite fitting into who he is, who he wants to be? We all know that moment. The moment of self doubt, of wonder, of longing.
These images are smart. Clever. entertaining and thoughtful. We are enticed into telling stories of our own when reading his.
In his own words:
At the heart of my work is a fascination with ambiguities and inconsistencies, an interest in how I go about negotiating areas of grey and how others manage to do the same. When I am in public, I watch people going about their daily routines alone; I wonder about the lives they lead, wonder how they experience the world around them and how they make meaning of it. I spend time inventing stories for them: narratives of isolation, of questioning and searching, of desire, and of confusion. The images in Other People’s Clothes are a product of my exploration of private moments of expectation, a visual expression of my experiences stepping into the shoes of the types of people I see on a daily basis. Each photograph in the series is a constructed scene that begins with an outfit or piece of clothing (either bought, found, or borrowed), then a person that I imagine to fill those clothes, and finally a location where that person can play out a silent moment alone. This moment is the time right before something changes, the holding in of a breath and waiting, the preparing of oneself for what is to come. Though I am the physical subject of these images, they are not self-portraits. They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar, as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others’ lives in order to better understand my own.
Born in Indianapolis (1981), Caleb Cole is a former altar server, scout, and 4-H Grand Champion in Gift Wrapping. His mother instilled in him a love of garage sales and thrift stores, where he developed a fascination with the junk that people leave behind. Cole is a 2009 Artadia Award winner, 2009 Photolucida Critical Mass finalist, and 2010 Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photographer (US). He has exhibited at a variety of venues, including Gallery Kayafas (Boston), the Danforth Museum of Art, Good Citizen Gallery (St. Louis), Photo Center Northwest (Seattle), the Childs Gallery (Boston), and the Farmani Gallery (NY). Cole was also featured in Boston Magazine (HOME) as an emerging photographer who is “shaking up New England’s visual arts scene.”
Caleb Cole’s work will be exhibited at Gallery Kayafas, Boston, 450 Harrison Ave., #37, 617-482-0411, through October 16.
All images copyright Caleb Cole. Used with permission.