by Wes Knoll
This series of photos comes from an ongoing body of work that chronicles the themes that have brought me back and forth across the United States: exploration, vice, and the mysteries discovered in places I’ve never experienced. To fulfill my constant desire to discover, I have sought out the hidden ways that people pursue the vigorous feeling of being alive. My attempts to do so have become my own means of engaging in this experience. Sometimes this sensation is realized in moments of reflection in the great outdoors; other times it is captured hanging out the window of a speeding car or watching somebody decide whether or not they should commit a felony.
I believe that what makes life feel magical is the only truth. Sometimes I seek out these sources of vitality by digging through discarded items that hide the personal truths of their old owners, other times by searching for the emotions in people’s hearts, which are often expressed through their hands and eyes. I study the ways in which people use objects and their bodies to demonstrate the uniqueness of their being: a tattoo, a trick they can do, a secret stash of money, a possession they must hide. As a naturally observant person with a meditative process, I strive to put myself in places and situations that are uncomfortable at first but with time and attention reveal themselves to contain a secret truth. For me, these camouflaged insights are the real magic of being alive.
Wes Knoll is a photographer and mixed media artist born and based in New York. Get to know him better: @weskn0ll