Jake Naughton
Mexico City / +521 55 5107 5756
 DATE: 03/16/2016 HAMMONS/WKD


NYTCREDIT: Jake Naughton for The New York Times

Here Is What I Know About Love

It’s morning and Juan has been up for hours. I’m just opening my eyes to gauzy sunlight and the sound of wood planks creaking and something frying. / It’s raining. I’m under a streetlight and Juan is 2453 miles away. We’re silent over the phone, because we’ve run out of things to say. The hissing in our ears seems to have a physical weight, pushing us further apart a country away. / We’re walking through the snow together, one behind the other. Silent again, but this time buoyant as we make our way through the night. We leave nothing behind but the barest hint of footprints shading the faintly glowing ground.

What does it mean to be in love? For the past five years, in images, writings and lived experiences, I’ve tried to tease out the answer through a collaboration with my partner Juan. Love is a cliche, an idea so easy to imagine but impossible to grasp. Like an overripe fruit, it collapses with a bit of pressure into cloying sweetness and the faint sense of something lost. But, it is also our most essential endeavor. Mystical and dangerous, it is the inspiration for a billion hegiras and a thousand thousand petty conflicts.

At its most basic, falling in love means cleaving away something of yourself and becoming something else. It is geologic in aspirations but minute in practice. Painful and unnatural, but flecked with the possibility of the sublime.

This work examines the nitty gritty of what happens when two people attempt to become something more and less than that. I’m interested in the frayed edges, the messy intersections, the elements of ourselves lost, and the new facets gained in the process. I believe love is messy and hard, full of hard edges and soft things. But, it’s also more than all of that: It is becoming.