David Maisel
[Photographer, b. 1961, New York, lives in San Francisco.]

 For me, then, photography is an act of mapping: making something that represents something else. 
 It’s the work that gets under my skin, that somehow threatens me—that is the work that actually matters and has a lasting influence. 
 My sense is that the places I photograph are an outer manifestation of our own psyches. These are not simply the work of some corporate enemy, but rather a reflection of who and what we are collectively, as a society. 
 Remember, beauty is not glamour; beauty is not shallow. Beauty can be transformative. 
 With a camera, you are able to see things in ways that you’re not ordinarily allowed to see. And aerial photography heightens those possibilities. 
 You don’t need to know the back stories to make the pictures work. I’m careful with the way I title things so they don’t refer back to the subject. I want the pictures to exist distinct from their place of origin. 
 It occurred to me that I could be taking pictures of my studio floor. It does look like something I would shoot. But to me it would be meaningless. There is a way that I’m trying to move back and forth between the content and the process of abstraction, where the image alone can take you in and you can respond to it as metaphor. 
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