Printed Images from the Past
A few years ago before I was making a living making photographs, I was packing up my apartment in anticipation of our move from my tiny studio to a much larger tiny space on the Upper East Side in New York. Xina was away for a conference and I was left alone for a few days to do the packing. I was having some issues with “stuff”. Whether it was the fact that my 250 square foot studio was crammed full of essentially two apartment’s worth of stuff, or whether it was just pre-move jitters, I went on a tear through my apartment and threw out a ton of stuff. Now, had Xina been there packing with me, she would have stepped in with the voice of reason and stopped me from making the more egregious acts of short sightedness. Specifically, she would have stopped me from throwing out all of my film negatives and most of my collection of vintage and toy cameras. To be clear, none of these things had any monetary value – I didn’t toss out a vintage Rolleiflex or anything, but still, I would kill to have my 1970s polarioid back and the 120mm box cameras I had several of.
In truth, I think I had a moment of insanity with the negatives. I even managed to block the fact that I’d tossed them into trash bags from my mind, and it wasn’t until I’d looked in every possible spot for them a few years later that I remembered my mistake. From a historic and nostalgic standpoint, it was a huge loss and I still feel like an idiot. While just about everything is gone, I came across an envelope of prints from that time period and luckily there are a few gems in there. The one picture that I’m most happy to have a record of is a picture I took of my then-girlfriend’s cat Gunther jumping for a toy on a string.
I also came across a few tortured angsty pre-facial hair self portraits and still life photos. OMG, I was, like, SO depressed and emo back then. I’ll spare you most of them, but here are a couple to give you the idea. (Although I’d be willing to bet that “OMG” was not part of my lexicon back then).
Somehow I managed not to throw out all of my art supplies and equipment from around the same time period, something I am grateful for now that I am stretching my creative legs, shaking out the stiffness and getting back to the business of making art. I am absolutely loving discovering myself creatively again and all the stuff that I didn’t throw out.