Emmett Methven was born in Christchurch, New Zealand on Christmas Day 1992. For much of his childhood he lived in a suburb of New York City. He also spent time in Illinois and Virginia, where he attended Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. His work uses photography and video to manifest cryptic narratives that ambiguously blend personal experience and dreams with references to public media and contemporary image culture. He received his BFA in 2014 and is currently living and working in Los Angeles, California.
‘Griffin Avenue’ is a body of work produced during 2015-2016. The series’ title was taken the street I was living on while making these photographs, which also happened to be my first year living in Los Angeles. I didn’t know many people in LA at the time and because I wasn’t working regularly, I ended up spending a lot of time in and around my apartment. The title simultaneously evokes the image of a specific, perhaps domestic place, while also nodding toward my greater interest in cinema by referencing seminal Hollywood-set films like Sunset Boulevard, Mulholland Drive, et cetera. There are also thematic notions inherent to the griffin, a mythical creature resembling a lion but bearing the head of an eagle, which has classically been depicted as an icon of divine power and “the guardian of treasure and prized possessions”. Ultimately ‘Griffin Avenue’ is meant to document the sort of psychological ‘home base’ that it became for me as I was finding my way through that initial period of ambivalence, excitement, fear, and wonder.
To view more of Emmett’s work please visit his website.