For some years I have been collecting photographs, the ones that no longer had a home, an attachment to a family, the kind that were simply were abandoned. In the twelve or fifteen years that I have been collecting, I have seen generations upon generations pass in silence before my eyes, only to disappear for good.
In the years that I have been collecting, I was focusing on the 20s through the mid 1950s and preferring mostly black & white prints, deliberately ignored images from the 60s to the present. I even disregarded the occasional negatives or transparencies, as well as photographs that were faded, had major color shifts or were damaged, but that has now all changed.
Opening Presents, C-Print, date unknown
When I started acquiring my photographs, it was to accumulate a nice collection from which to draw inspiration for developing short stories that I would write and then illustrate with the found photograph. Though the stories still need to be written, collecting photographs has taken on an urgency.
In a little over one decade I have come to witness several generations disappear. Those who experienced World War Two, their photographs no longer appear on the market. Even the following two generations are disappearing, making room for photographs that were printed in the 70s to the present and soon they too will disappear.
San Francisco Chinatown, C-Print, date unknown
We are fast approaching when a marketplace will no longer offer photographic prints, for it will have been replaced by the cloud, places like Instagram, FaceBook and other social media.
I consider myself only a caretaker of these images, trying to give them another breath of life by sharing them as a collection in an eBook. At the moment I have begun to select and scan images depicting people on vacation for an ePublication called “Road Trips,” followed by several other eBooks that would be released on iTunes and most likely offered for free.
That is the plan for 2015, which includes finding a repository, a museum that would assume being caretaker if my son has no interest in taking on the responsibility, since we do not live indefinitely. In the meantime I shall keep on collecting, preserving what I can.
Polaroid SX-70 instant print, Date unknown
C-Print, September 1968
Polaroid Land Camera instant print, Date unknown
C-Print, April 1968
The Picnic, C-Print, July 1958
C-Print on pearl paper, Date unknown