Caleb Cole (Brighton, MA) is a 2008 graduate of New England School of Photography with triple honors. Prior to coming to NESOP, he earned his BA in Sociology and Gender Studies from Indiana University. Among Cole's recent exhibitions are a solo show at the Artists Foundation as well as a group show for NESOP's 40th anniversary. He currently works at Boston College and does freelance shooting and post-production.

Featured online are selections from Cole's ongoing body of portrait work that merges photography and performance. For the series “Other People's Clothes,” Cole finds or buys other people's clothes and creates a persona and a narrative based on his initial reaction to the garments. Using props and lighting, he shoots in a variety of locations and always brings the clothes back to the thrift store or locale from which they came.

  - Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator

Click here for Cole's web site


Artist Statement

At the heart of my work is a fascination with ambiguities and inconsistencies, an interest in how I go about negotiating areas of grey and how others manage to do the same. When I am in public, I watch people going about their daily routines alone; I wonder about the lives they lead, wonder how they experience the world around them and how they make meaning of it. I spend time inventing stories for them: narratives of isolation, of questioning and searching, of desire, and of confusion. I see people as strange and contradictory, but ultimately as creatures who all seek to make sense of and understand their own existence.

The images in "Other People's Clothes" are a product of my exploration of private moments of expectation, a visual expression of my experiences stepping into the shoes of the types of people I see on a daily basis. Each photograph in the series is a constructed scene that begins with an outfit or piece of clothing (either bought, found, or borrowed), then a person that I imagine to fill those clothes, and finally a location where that person can play out a silent moment alone. This moment is the time right before something changes, the holding in of a breath and waiting, the preparing of oneself for what is to come. Though I am the physical subject of these images, they are not self-portraits. They are portraits of people I have never met but with whom I feel familiar, as well as documents of the process wherein I try on the transitional moments of others' lives in order to better understand my own.

- Caleb Cole

Click on each image for larger version and caption.







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