meet the artist: speer
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The Dirt

Artist & PhD: Speer

Hey y’all! I’m Speer! I am a recent graduate of grad school from UC Davis trying my best to be a Davisite.

Beyond playing ultimate frisbee, surfing, and drinking Temple coffee, I have been a black-and-white film photographer for around eight years focusing primarily on landscapes and abstract styles.

I first got into photography when my grandfather passed away in 2014 as he left behind multiple film cameras, including a 1950’s Argoflex Seventy-Five twin lens camera and a Canon TX SLR. I started to use them in 2016 when I was experiencing a troubling time in my life and the rest has been history.

Throughout college and grad school, photography was always a passion project that meandered into and out of my frontal lobe while dealing with life’s stressors. I would sporadically pick up a camera for a nice walk, a road trip, a surf trip, a social event, or etc. but then I would put it back down for a couple months.

Only recently have I felt a higher liberation toward my art. As I transition away from being a student into a full Davisite, I am starting to embrace photography as a more regular habit in my life. Spurred on by a short but formal education about shooting, developing, and printing film photographs at the Craft Center, I am now trying my best to show my art around town! Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to exhibit pieces at the Davis Street Market, the Third Space Collective, the Secret Spot, the Barn Gallery run by YoloArts, and multiple local zines.

Through my photography, I grapple with my emotionality and my perception of humanity and I can only hope that others feel a similar inspiration when they look at the images.

Ideally, I like to let scenes and situations spin a tale for the audience that they will subjectively receive. In my personal opinion, I find it difficult to force an audience to only perceive one message or purpose in a photograph, therefore I try to exhibit images filled with a lot of negative space to let the mind wander.

Anyone can find me on Instagram and a larger collection of my photographs can be found on my portfolio. Any of the pictures seen in my portfolio are available as prints at various sizes, please send me a message if you are interested!

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