tinman Gallery logo by  keith o'connor  


NEW YORK City:  2015:

Fine Art Narrative Photography

May 9  to  May 16 (Eight Days)   We walked 90 Kilometers : N.Y.C. streets

May Contain Some Mature Audience Material

the  theme of  human identity within  the impersonal

world of New York City is  explored  in  this  work

images processed with GIMP and edited to:   2015  06  30


my text is used as graphical signs arranged aesthetically
formal gramatical / punctuational considerations
are subordinated to visual text shape structures

living in new york city

two people

sitting on a small corner park bench
in new york city core
 talking to each other
in spiritual harmony

the language of music

evolving their identity
through music

evolving their togetherness
through music


night in New York City:  2015 May

two young smiling women

  amongst the crowd
their bodies painted in  the nations sacred colors

planted in high heel shoes

the traditional
vaginal  symbol
of venus

high heel
the traditional
penis symbol
of mars

their bodies sense the crowds secret thoughts
  from eros hiding behind each glancing eye

thoughts of
mars and venus
swirl through the crowd

 the moon begins its journey
it is early in the night of the city

NOTE:  we humans live in two worlds
the physical world of the body
the spiritual world of the mind

ever separated
always trying to unite

our nightmares result from not knowing
which world we are in

our  death
sometimes results from not knowing
which world we are in

NOTE:  the girls look like cut-outs but this is an actual scene
taken on my phone camera
and highly computer processed

their love world
within the city world
of reality

they   -    we
live in two worlds

an emotional world
of our imaginings
a physical world
of our happenings

sometimes they are in sync
sometimes they are not

we think we know
what is real and what is not real

NOTE:  Identity is the product of belief
the truth or reality of belief
is another belief


love is seen
in the most unlikely of places

street people
no home     no job     no nothing
  little childs comfort toy rests its head
on their donation box

 ancient messengers
from the gods
wait to be recognized
to tell

their future

love   hate   fear 
riches   poverty

all of the above
some of the above
none of the above
  my cameras eye finds
their moment of love

 beside a street garbage can
in new york city

NOTE: it is irrelevant that if in reality
they are
addicted to alcohol or drugs
and during there addicted condition
attack each other viciously
in destructive hatred

this is their human moment
  to explore tenderness

it is our human moment
to realize
hope for their future
and our future
may exist

 through the window
 old symbols
filled with memories
of  home    pride    status     country

 painting of a young woman with phone
old framed painting of central park
expensive pedestal ashtray
expensive large brass stork
expensive brass nude-dancing-figures
expensive tiffany lamp

thousands of items bought and sold
memories of yesteryear
to be seen through the window
 mixed with
reflections of buildings  cars people
create the symbolic image
of then and now
old and new

  me with my cameras eye

search then and now symbols
for bits
of an other me

NOTE:  layered images of past temporal identities
expressed through physical possessions

to nurture
to be nurtured
some cannot nurture
some cannot be nurtured
they become
the living dead

NOTE: nurturing:  the physical expression
of two separate identites merging in spirituallity

mannequin reflections

mannequin in the window

from the outside world

  illusions of real
and not real

 my cameras eye
is my  childhood
real eye

for rightly or wrongly

it is with my adult eye
that I selectivly
view the world

NOTE: reflection on the dress was not added
expresses the concept of our identies bridging
both mental and physical aspects of our being


spray can is my power

I don't care about you
"I    EXIST"
I  don't care if   I  have nothing to say
"I    EXIST"
I don't care if I am nothing
"I    EXIST"
when you see what I have done
you will know

"I    EXIST"
through my spray can

NOTE: my identity is not strong enough
to be seen by others

you will see the expression of my identity
but you will not see me

for i  fear others


jesus is my power

jesus is savior

jesus is lord

please don't go to hell


without jesus

NOTE:  you must be like me
but subordinate to me
whatever i choose to be me


an act of god
the role of god
is  portrayed
jim parsons

some may be offended
some may  be seriously offended
others may not
be offended

NOTE:  god    always a touchy subject

"I"    and   "WE"
  art lovers
sitting   standing   walking   photographing   pondering
"I   and   WE  :  EXIST"
through graphic art

NOTE: the arts provide individual identities
within a spiritualesque community

daily show

the daily show

three floor
 poster image
of a serious
well dressed
news personage

standing beside

"larry flint's
hustler club
go one block
down and
take a right"

a modern approach to news
for a modern identity
serious topics
through a blend of
intellect and humur



train yards
row   upon row    upon row   upon row
shiny empty people containers
of monday morning madness
shoving  yelling
anger    fear    hate    indifference
bits of human tenderness
sprinkled here and there

makes early morning
in the day of the city

new me
there     in the window
my real me

how much is that 
me  me
in the window

the one with
 cool   cool    shoes


mr. cool
into the city night

I'm  great
no doubt
as I waltz
in my shoes

through the crowds

  of the city night

NOTE:  mr. cool from the store window
makes the real world look shoddy
the real world of community
is the expression of our individual collective
internal worlds

3 for $99.90
says the sign in the window

she sits alone
on a plastic milk carton
in front of the window

her story
attentivly listened to
a thick soft covered book
lays by her side
pen in hand
note pad on knee

7 months pregnant
says her sign
anything will help
says her sign

I  see her
my camera captures her image
she is part of the continuum of life
I do not interfere

I wonder why
what ever gods there are
have made me
there but not there
here but not here

NOTE:  life has given her challenges
she keeps going  day after day
a  quality i  consider noble


old new york city
two older stately buildings
the giant
cognitave matrix
 of glass pixels
 machined to modernest perfection
in efficency

  aloof modernism
down on the
humanesque remnants

new york of the modernest destroyer-builders

new york of the historical comunity-protectors


struggle constantly
within the democratic process
until the destroyer-builders
 win once

  then there is nothing to protect


musicians play music
but they are also a group
their personal identities
must integrate
with others

it is the group
 that give form to music
it is the dynamic
of groupa individual identies
that I have chosen
to present

NOTE: the coming together of individuals
creates a spiritualesque expression
that joins us to the universal experience
of wholeness with all life forms

no bike

answering the problem
of collisions

driverless cars
to keep us save

driverless bicycles
to keep us safe

driverless skateboards
to keep us safe

driverless wheelchairs
to keep us safe

is collision
part of our identity

sharon presenting

within this graphic
barnett newman

a painting that prevents
into itself
to another world
keeps us here together
as dual subject

within the whiteish imaginary
of this graphic
to become
stored artifacts
of current
and distant

NOTE:  is this the high point of modernist art
or is it just a stick
my wifes friend insists it is a stick
my only defence in favor of barnette newman
is the possibility that it is
a magic stick

our selfe

no stick
to hold our image
a black classy New York City Van
at the red light
its shinny door like a carnival mirror
added to the fun
everyone short and stubby
no exceptions
i see a me
that is part me
part not me
i see only me
i have erased
the other me
i would  like to look better
i could look  better
could look like mr. cool
but its ok
for now

NOTE:  my flexable identity thoughts
maybe i should consider
modifying my appearance image
my wife has this single bag
filled with things she is forever trying to find
i have my camera stuff    pocketed security vest     cargo pants
including medications and emergency toilet paper
maybe mr. cool only exists
in the store window
some day in my coffin
i could look like
mr. cool

flat iron

the famous flat iron
she escaped
the destroyer-builders
she was
saved by new yorkers
at their past being destroyed

she lives on as a great
New York City

reminding new yorkers
to the return
of the destroyer-builders


have cellphones
have cellphoners
user friendly access
to your virtual identity
instant access
friends books  maps  news television
and camera
in the palm of one hand
young or old
rich and not quite poor
an instrument
of cultural
exchange and exposing of
it  lies   bullies   steals   and   helps
it hides the faces
of both
friend and enemy
it is an innocent looking
image machine
in the colour of your choice
wants one

NOTE: people forget that modern cellphones are computers
and computers can be hacked
identities may be stolen


remnant of 19th century
new york

darkened by
smoke from
the 20th century
burning times

arson raged
through numbered blocks
for decades

fire fighters helpless
before the never ending fires
the landloard
wars ended

great cities
like great people
are defined by their
human struggles
good and evil

water tower

new york city water supply
is gravity pressurized
thousands of water tanks
perched hight atop buildings
some hidden inside
made from cedar planks
or a variety of metals
3 shown above

tanks last 25 to 50 years
are inventoried

top section of tank water
is for drinking
bottom section of tank water
is for fighting fires
street usage

dogs lost

lost dogs
$ 1,000 dollars reward
$ 10,000 dollars reward
wonder how many people
who don't have access
to that much money feel
while reading this post

kids to feed
landlords to pay
just lost my job
no money
my kid is sick
no money
is it fair

life is not fair

NOTE: rich peoples world of want and poor peoples world of need
intersect on these public posters
small indicators of how much easier life is for the rich
and yes
life is illness
life is wealth
life is poverty
life is confusion
life is anger
life is love
life is birth
life is death

life is not fair
life never was fair

Building face
NOTE:  this photograph has not been adjusted

preservation of buildings
in new york city
is a serious business
and builders must comply

look up at the top two floors
they have window airconditioners
fire escape stairs
the upper two floors of

the side wall are missing
the front wall is the facade
of an older building
it is appropriate that
this part now part old
part real part unreal
very close to the new
light blueish grey
whitney gallery
in the distance
with dozens of tiny people
seen standing out on its
balconies and stairs.

NOTE: (2):  this building graphic fits with my identity theme in relation to the
reality of real and the reality of unreal


the great bull
of the new york stock exchange
the sacred bull of capitalism
into a play structure
by fun loving

the desire to make life
for all
may be suppressed
by evil
but never destroyed


bit of 1900s New York

the hand rail
now part of a walking path
an elevated street train
at 3rd floor level
weaving its way between buildings
the rumblings can only be imagined

on hot august nights new yorkers
would escape carrying their childern and bedding
to the roof
hoping to catch the slightest breeze
to fan their sleep

sheets  hanging  from clothes lines
gave  moments of privacy

such a scene was painted
by new york artist
john sloan


25 years in space 2015

photographed the hubble
duplicate on display
in the space museum
photographed the large universe poster
put the two images together
as a symbol of
  human sturggle
to answer the big question
of beginning
of ending
of alone-ness


can you see me
she said
as i
photographed her
through the glass

we play
the age old game
peek a boo
now you see me
now you don't

NOTE:  point and shoot
digital cameras
do not have good depth of field control

the photograph was computer processed
into the artifact part
which was sharpened
the non artifact part
which was blurred
then merged

jet eng

our reflected togetherness
looking through
a glass enclosed
jet engine

on the deck of
the decommissioned
aircraft carrier
uss enterprise


new york citys
spiritual mirror

we must be more
born to die

all life
all death
must have a reason

it is so easy to die
so hard to be born

if there is
i  am
there must be
i  was

far better i believe
in the magic
of illusion
than the reality
of nothing
i  am human
and can
the reality of illusion
the illusion of reality
as one


in the heart of
new york city
a small
old cemetery
reminds us

a person with an identity
died in 1761

it is a certianty
most of his beliefs
that defined his identity
are no longer considered

an ever changing reflection
in the mirror of life


this simple
constructed expression
into image
through image
is trasnformed
into reality
through reality
is transformed

into identity



the new   the next


ornimation is only part of identity
 is the cover
that hides the book

as related to social
as related to genetic
bestowed upon us
what ever gods may be

to exist between
the world of body
the world of mind

new york woman

new york city woman

her persona caught my eye
she stood out from the crowd
stylish sensual
and feminine
without being erotic

i was in the right place
at the right time
a quick snap
captured her fleeting image

my composition
did the rest

NOTE:  painted images of active women for womens rights
introduced this series of photographs on indentity
i wanted to finish the series with the image of a woman
who would sum up new yorks dynamic energy

SUMMARY NOTE:  my selected images are ment  to to illustrate the human struggle with identity
identity is neither completly real nor completely imaginary
neither completely logical nor completely illogical
it functions in another dimension
that is part here and part not here

just as quantum  physics does not always obey the conventional laws of gravity

peace is part war
war is part  peace

man is part woman
woman is part man

we think the part is the whole
we think the whole is the part

we don't know that we know
we know that we don't know

there is only identity
part body
part mind

These are my preliminary "Summary Comments"
 written during the formulation of this project.

I mention above that this project contains mature material. I question the beliefs which I was taught as a child. The questioning of these beliefs  may cause some emotive concern to those who have never contemplated personal existence.

This project is my personal exploration of belief and identity concepts as they define my relationship to existence of self and other. Why am I,  Who am I , Where am I, What am I is the essence of my personal exploration.

As I search through my thousands of New York City photo-images the general theme of personal and  group "Identity" begins to emerge.   Thoughts such as: the relationship between group belief and personal identity : the role of group belief and personal identity in the the domination of one group over another. The role of culture as part of and or separate from identity factors.

Finally: questons concerning the mysterious ever present underlying concept-awarness of my personal existence creeps into mind.

I recall a story told of: Cardinal Richelieu  1545 - 1642.  He presented a well formulated policy argument to a Pope and gained the Popes approval for action.  Some time later he presented a well formulated contrary argument to the previously approved policy and gained the Popes approval for the change. The story illustrates that Cardinel Richelieu possessed a talent for such well formulated reasoning which allowed him to argue successfully that good was evil and evil was good and totally confuse the listener.

Cardinal Richelieu had an instinct for what could be termed modern propaganda. He had access to the decision maker. He had influence over those consulting for the Decision maker which, allowed him to control the information flow from others. He implemented his dictatorship in unifying France and  destroyed many lives in the process which, in the end may indicate that we, as a social group,  make our own good and evil conditions on this earth.

To me the Cardinal derives such emotional pleasure from his ability to manipulate the beliefs of others that this personal pleasure becomes an addiction that replaces the need to understand.

That is my dilemma. If language structures thought - then language may be used to structure truth and anti-truth therefor there may be  no absolute stability in the use of language.  Since we use language then our decision processes are unstable.  If the language is unstable then the human conceptualizing condition is unstable. This positon my be extropolated to argue the universe is unstable or at best  incomplete, which has been argued by the philosopher: Slavoj Zizek  b1949 . Physicst Werner and Heisenberg (1901 - 76) seems to have arrived at a similar conclusion: Reality may be incomplete in the sense that it is ever changing.

If this is correct then in terms of constructing an identity within social and historical references may yield an imaginary identity of lthe moment . We all role play to a greater degree than we would like to believe. That famous quote : "the world is a stage and everyone in it is an actor", has more than just a grain of truth.

Zizek argues that there is no freedom in a finished Reality. I agree conceptually that freedom cannot exist within a deterministic or completed  structure. The traditional idea that a believer must pledge his or her soul to god contains the implication of moving oneself from free to unfree. Implying the further implication that we were born free and are submerged in environment of language to either stay free or become unfree. Interestingly the believer believes himself or herself to be free within the rule based god structure. I am free but I cannot do this or else I will not be free.

The interesting contadicition in the christian god / devil system is that god originally argued for human freedom and lucifer - the fallen angel - argued for human submission to god. Baptism symbolically removes the original sin which may be interpreted as god given freedom which must be removed in order to submit to lucifers idea of submission.   We can not give our soul to god because he represents freedom. We can give our soul only to the devil because he represents submission.

If the devil represents submission and god repersents  freedom then how did they ever get reversed? 

The obvious answer is that the language used to define god and define the devil is unstable / incomplete ever changing.
Therefore the big quistions of ones existence can never be definitively explored because language is an  inadequate tool and there is no other. It is quite possible that the basis for belief is the intutive understanding that language is incomplete. Therefor belief is an attempt to complete language as a conceptualizing tool. 

Thomas Acquinas refused to define god as the prime mover of his natural law because a definition is only used in place of a proof and he was attempting to prove the existence of god. Unfortunatly later German philosophers became frustrated in their attempts  and defined the prime mover as god. Much like defining belief as the equivalent of god.

Thomas Acquinas is in my opinion is partially  correct in defining god as the prime mover because the prime mover  has the connotation of doing, whereas the act of conceptualizing the beginning of everything is the equilavent to conceptualizing the unknowable.

I can survive understanding the concept that there is no conceptual answer to the big questions but, why there is no answer is quite facinating. There is an incredable aesthetic to cognitively  experiencing the concept of the unknowable as being unknowable. Mainly because it places the percieved certainty of belief, ( as a naming word, which gives it existence), in doubt.

I have struggled through this project of exploring identity and arrived at my personal satisfactory answer.  It may not be quite the theory of everything but as for myself it is a good start. It has taken me until the age of 75 years to get this far in my thinking.


Identity in general has in my opinion a strong genetic component within the identity system of family, friends, cultural etc.  Sexual identity, a major identity component in terms of male female concepts,  appears to be based more upon brain genetic reproduction than superficial body reproduction. That brain formation approach moves sexual identity from the absolute appearence based  male / female concept to brain spectrial concepts. Sexual identity  and General identity like language and like quantum uncertainty within physics forms an incomplete system. There can be no absolute definition which includes everyone.

In terms of recent social strugles this conclusion places me on the side of those who argue that the "sex"designator should be removed from birth certificates. The term "sex" indicating male or female is a form of discriminaton much like skin  colour  designation.

The slow but steady removal of identity differences from official documents indicates to me that society is moving back towards our original concept of  interconectedness with all life forms.