I was born and raised in Philadelphia, and my upbringing there has influenced every aspect of who I am. Philly is a scrappy city; known for its high crime rates, struggling public education system, and an ever-decreasing population, it seems grim on paper, but despite, or perhaps because of these hardships, it’s also a city with strong character and tremendous heart. In the same way that I champion a city considered by many to be defunct, so too do I cling firmly to my love of books as printed objects. Given our ever-advancing culture of e-readers and digitization, I believe artist books are one of the last tools to keep physical books viable, and that, contrary to popular speculation, their aesthetic value will continue to increase as other printed mediums become fewer and more far between; that people will become nostalgic for the tactility of pages, the skill of hand craft. I’ve wedded these two unlikely loves of mine in a series of artist books which aim to shed light on what I’ve deemed the ‘Philadelphia Paradox’ — although statistically the city seems to be failing its inhabitants, there is a distinct sense of camaraderie and deep spirited (dare I say brotherly?) love for it alive and well within them.