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by Adrian Chesser

I was born on May 19, 1965 in Okeechobee, Florida. I was groomed to be a Pentecostal preacher, studying the bible and taking piano and organ lessons. I spoke in tongues. I learned to cast out demons. I was gay. I left home at the first opportunity.

A friend gave me a camera and I fell in love with light and image. Another friend gave me an enlarger and supplies for a dark room. In a closet under a stairwell, I taught myself how to make a photograph.

I made cash for photographic supplies in many ways. I worked in restaurants as a dish washer, busboy, waiter. I wrestled alligators at a Seminole Indian reservation. I was a santa for charity. I have assisted gardeners, photographers, and drug-dealers. I hustled sex for money.

I have lied, cheated, and stolen so I could feel the erotic rush of watching an image magically appear on what was a blank piece of paper. I'm learning to cast "in" demons. I've always felt I would do almost anything to know the power of holding a split second in my hands, and look at it as long and as lovingly as I care to, - to capture something as elusive as an emotion, and to feel the power of that emotion possess me each time I look at it. To feel the electric jolt of telling a lie convincingly and above all else, to experience the awe-inspiring, god-like power of creating and witnessing a truth.

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