I was recently assigned a project in a digital photography class that asked me to create a series of images based on a poem I felt was most relevant to my life. I chose the lyrics of the song “Ballad of a Thin Man” by Bob Dylan (the legend and hero we named this website after). The song speaks of a man named Mr. Jones who keeps throwing himself into situations he doesn’t understand. I interpreted this as Jones trying to find meaning in life by challenging himself, putting himself in unfamiliar situations. The experiences he has in these situations are causing him to become frustrated and he begins to feel like he is the only one in the universe that doesn’t belong. All of this is happening inside of him, and yet he is playing it out in such a cooled down tone that its almost comforting to him. He makes it seem like his frustration is what keeps him alive and excited. Finding his sanity through chaos. To me, that’s what skateboarding is—throwing yourself into frustrating experiences because of the attraction to danger. In these photos, I focused on capturing the expressions of those who live a life of danger with ease. I went out to photograph people who find sanity in chaos because it’s something they choose to understand and beautifully embrace.
Photos taken in Chicago, Illinois — July, 2014.