One of the more fascinating aspects of Neleman's still lifes is that he creates them almost as two-dimensional wall art - laid flat on the floor and photographed from straight overhead. Closely resembling the box constructions of sculptor and artist Joseph Cornell (whom the photographer cites as an influence), the boxes often consist of a curious array of found objects.

Neleman describes how he began his unusual images:

"The still lifes came about more or less by accident. I had my equipment set up in the studio of a friend down on Broadway while I was still studying. I had it pointed down and I started to rearrange some things underneath the camera.
If clouds could speak
12. Still Life with Seagull
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Looking through the back of the camera, I compared what I was doing here to painting - I was painting in a similar way with objects and light and color. I started treating the back of the camera as a canvas. I started making these complex images which had lots of things happening, almost as if it was happening in layers. And sometimes there were layers where you would shoot through glass or work on different levels, then everything would be condensed and made flat by the perspective."  continue