Costly Signals by Danny DeGennaro


Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro

A costly signal is an evolutionary trait that develops despite it not being in an organisms best interest.

In the case of a peacock, males develop elaborate plumage to attract females and display dominance, even though they become a physical hindrance to the bird.

The series opens with a picture from Orlando, FL, taken shortly before my girlfriend and I moved to LA. I had just completed a three year long series on Florida, and I wasn’t sure how my pictures would manifest without geographic commonality. I decided the density of the picture itself pointed towards my next goal: to examine why street photography is such a potent tool for disseminating a culture’s most commonplace exchanges, that come to act as signifiers for larger things. From that point on, the subject matter (which is never explicitly about anything other than itself) vacillates between simpler shots to more involved shots to illustrate the volume of signifiers present today. The images move further from the traditional “Decisive Moment” aesthetic and more towards Joel Meyerowitz’s “Field Photography”, where the purpose of the picture is to form relationships between subjects and locale that had never previously existed.

Communication is the basis of all life, and the signals people develop – both consciously and unconsciously – to relay information to others is esoteric and open to differing interpretations. Expressions, aphorisms, and lists have come to dominate our cultural landscape, where complex work and exchanges that required life experience once ruled. Perhaps photography is the best way to examine this phenomenon, where impressions rule over narrative, elements aren’t easily reduced, and the marrying of disparate, mercurial things can be understood only in fleeting, poetic, unfixed terms.

Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro

About Danny DeGennaro

Danny graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012 with his BFA in Film Studies. Although initially attracted to avant-garde filmmaking, his interest in photography was ignited by a friend who shot for National Geographic. After freelancing for several years, he joined Studio Peck where he became adept at commercial and architectural photography. He left after two years to more seriously pursue street photography as his primary means of expression. [Official Website]

Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
Costly Signals | Danny DeGennaro
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