These are photos taken at the 2009 SantaCaliGon Days Festival in Independence, MO. I'm drawn to the grass- roots entrepreneurial spirit on display at this event in a year that is by all economic accounts the most miserable of my lifetime. The odd assortment of aluminum siding installers and home-made root beer bottlers are not unlike so many amoebas in a reef, all of them straining the waters for sustenance.
This series has evolved over time. It started as a contrasting between the front-side, public facade of a building vs. its back-alley utilitarian face. I’ve shifted the emphasis to an exploration of the way buildings are finished when the builder doesn’t care about the looks of his structure. There is very often a simple elegance resulting when the “design” is driven by cost and expedience.
Apologies to all the web-surfers who land on this page looking for something else.
People seeing me with a camera asked what I was taking pictures of. At first I told them about wanting to record the look of a place threatened by an "Eminent Domain" ruling. Their eyes glazed over—too many words. Then I said, "I'm an artist, blah, blah, blah...". Glazed eyes. So I edited my explanation to the essentials. "This place - the colors, the people..." A guy in his station wagon considered this, and took a bite on his cigar, "It's a junkya'd". I shrugged, "It's beautiful." He made the slightest head tilting gesture that said, "You're nuts, but if you like it, knock yourself out".
The "junkyard" is a few square acres across the street from the new home of the Mets on Willet's point in Queens.
Cranes + Starlings
These photos are of roughly the same patch of sky around the construction site of the IRS building in Kansas City. The cranes went away when the building was completed, but the birds still flock over SW Boulevard at dusk every winter evening.
Each of these is photographed at arm's length to relate the creator's working distance—and presented as triptychs to convey the border-less nature of the works.