Jesse Ryan Brown

Artist’s Statement

Faulkner writes, “How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home,” which is how I started down my creative path. Wanting to move past nostalgia, my focus leans toward emotional behavior. Those scars from the lingering effects of a not yet breathless name run deep beneath their surface. Drawing on vague memories of isolation while growing up, I’m fascinated by the intricacies of what makes us human—anxieties, ideals, love, loss, and sadness.

There is an overwhelming sense of melancholy within this series emphasized by the bleak landscapes as well as the ominous portraits. I’m interested in the austere, the moments of searching, of longing. Although this series seemingly deals with disparate subjects and locations, the works are connected through the atmosphere and poetic flow of the visual narrative. The photos deliberately obscure more than they reveal, blending staged images with landscapes and portraits, blurring the line between fact and fiction. The fiction lies outside the frame—in the gaps between the images.

To quote an old hymn sung by Frank Newsome, “I’m kind of homesick ‘cept for a country to which I’ve never been before. No sad goodbyes will there be spoken, for time won’t matter anymore.”

Jesse Ryan Brown is pursuing his MFA in photography at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. He creates work based on his personal experiences, building a cohesive narrative that invites viewers to draw their own conclusions to a story. See more of Jesse’s work by following him on IG @jesse.ryan.brown.