The New York Times
Abraham Lincoln is a DJ. John F. Kennedy is an accountant. Richard Nixon is a retired firefighter. Thomas Jefferson is a veteran of the war in Iraq. George Washington is in prison. For some, sharing the name of an American President was a blessing, for others it was a burden. Within each portrait there is a reference to a historical image of the similarly-named president, either through body language or composition.
I chose a cumbersome camera, a large-format Crown Graphic from the 1950s, to pay homage to the tedious process many presidents endured while sitting for portraits before the invention of the photograph. All of the photographs in the series were taken with a 4x5 film camera on Kodak Portra 400nc color negative film. The entire sheet of film was scanned on a drum scanner by Gotham Imaging in New York City. No artificial borders were added in Photoshop on the scans given to me. By doing so I was trying to honor the entire frame, flaws (the holes from processing) and all.
George Washington is in prison, serving three years on a weapons conviction. Named for a father he never knew, he was tormented as a child because of his historic name. "Do you have wooden teeth? Did you chop down the cherry tree? Where's Martha?" Mr. Washington recalled being asked constantly. "To this very day, I'm 47 years old, I still get it." His pose echoes the earliest known image of Washington, painted in 1772 by Charles Willson Peale.