I was a loser, a bad kid, I wasn't really into anything, and then someone gave me a camera and I found that this was the thing I wanted to do.
I think what happens is that you do the project first, then you think about what it's about. Years later, you figure out why you've done things.
I don't see men or women as my sexual objects. I keep myself out of that equation.
The funny thing is that I almost find it more difficult now to take a still picture than to be behind a moving camera. I'm just so much more inspired and comfortable and confident when I have that whole operation going. I feel more connected. Snapping a moment doesn't seem relevant to me anymore.
I didn't do so well in the academic world, so I think the only way I could express myself was through visual art – anything I could get my hands on, whether it was glassblowing, sculpture, painting, or photography. I always wanted to be a painter. Or a farmer.
There was a mental institution near my house, and I would donate time teaching mentally ill patients how to do ceramics. I photographed them as well. So those were my first pictures.
I like to show subjects inside a sealed veneer. There's a sense that you can't get in.
I was digging in the backyard to get my own clay and making pottery. And then I started taking pictures and built my own darkroom. I would go out at six in the morning and just take pictures.