Inappropriate Desire

Adam Ames


digital photograph
18.55 x 24 inches
Provenance: Momenta Art Spring Benefit
Acquired: 2015


From the artist’s website

Restrain employs a straightforward reveal/conceal device to explore psychological state that needs to be exposed in order to be established. To create each photograph, I have written down an embarrassing, revealing, shameful, humorous, horrific or otherwise private thought. The thought could be purely in the abstract or could be a recount of an actual event. Once on paper, the words are obfuscated either by erasing, marking over, ripping out, etc., the intimacies obscured or removed. The remaining elements are then photographed adding a final level of impenetrability.

Beginning with the offer of a confessional, the viewer is positioned to learn something potentially provocative about the artist. Since the actual content is hidden, the viewer can respond to the remaining elements. The materials may be clues to what was once exposed. The same is true for the overall aesthetics. It’s up to the desire of the viewer to know to determine the level of frustration in engaging the piece.

At the same time, knowing that the content will always be restrained in one form or another, the viewer may reflect back on personal experience and thoughts of what is acceptable to be revealed in his/her own life. Titles such as Betrayal, Hubris, Epithet, Filicide, and Nepotism act as triggers providing a hint of the works’ content, just enough to pique curiosity, as well as a mental nudge to investigate one’s inner thoughts.