CJ Heyliger grew up on the Colorado Front Range and received a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2006. He is a founding member of Sun System Press, a publishing collaborative he shares with Cole Caswell and Bryan Graf. CJ is currently an MFA candidate at the UCLA School of Art and Architecture with an expected completion date of 2015. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
I have a compulsion to find order in chaos; to seek out the concealed markers and forgotten shrines that exist on the peripheries of our culture. The camera is a portal to infinite interpretations of the environment in which we find ourselves. The familiar becomes alien, and the new reeks of old memories—those birthed from our own lives, and those from the lives of people we will never know.
My current work brings me to places that, for one reason or another, have become geographical outcasts. These scraps of land are often hidden in plain view and are rife with artifacts and submerged histories of their own. Photography allows me to gather these shards of cultural debris and weave them into a new narrative constructed of diverse environments with varying relationships to reality.
Though I do not consider myself a religious person, I am interested in how geometry, and basic forms in the landscape can elicit a primitive sense of divine power. I enjoy playing with the concept of sacred objects and consecrated land, as the locations I find myself photographing in are typically anything but. It is the rational lens of the camera that allows me to collect the ‘raw material’ from my surroundings and organize it in a way that suggests a greater truth.
To view more of CJ’s work, please visit his website.