Exhibition - December 31, 2011 - February 7, 2012 • Midland Arts and Antiques Market, Indianapolis

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ron - New Photographs

On my 2 Photogs WIP blog posts I had not planned to jump way ahead to my immediate work, but the best laid plans and all of that...

For the last several days I have been scanning and working on negatives.  I had a burst of creative energy from my recent work that has precluded me from posting here - my apologies.  That being said, here are some thoughts about that work.

Lately, I found myself spending some time in rural Indiana, which has been a source of past photographs, e.g. my Indiana Small Towns Project.

I really had not planned on this being a part of "Truth From Perceptions" but, on a recent trip, I felt the need to make some photographs of what I was seeing.  Harry Borgman, an artist that I greatly admire, told Satch and I that a key to his artistic success was to follow himself; again, I took his advice.

While I have never lived in rural and small town Indiana, over my 53 years I have spent a lot of time there.  Part of my family had a dairy-farm, my Grandfather was an outdoorsman and he and my Grandmother lived in a small town in northern Indiana, Kendallville, where I was born.  When I was young man the downtown was still bustling.  Their next door neighbor owned the local downtown diner, The Sweet Spot, where there were coin-op juke boxes in each booth.  On Saturday after my Grandmother got off of work we used to drive fellow diner customers crazy by playing all of the Elvis and Beatles records that we could.  But I digress...  This really wasn't that long ago.  The economic and social changes that have come to rural and small town Indiana are significant and in many cases devastating.  I suppose it is the same or worse across the country.

I am witnessing what had already started as far back as the mid-1990's.  The erosion is becoming even more evident and it feels like it is coming faster.  In many locales it certainly appears that we are experiencing a depression.  Commerce is trying to make a stand in these areas but in many cases it has given up the ghost.

(Click on the photograph to enlarge)
This photograph of the door with hand-painted hours for whatever business is behind it, shows that no longer are perceptions required - truth has arrived and settled in.  There is no need for a fancy sign; whatever it takes to let the customer know business hours is now adequate.  And, the building, with its bricked up windows continues the theme, no fancy facade here.

Another photograph that I am yet to work on shows a small sign advertising an abandoned venture over a much older large faded sign painted over the entire side of the building.  (I will post this photograph very soon.  Please see update above.)

Things change, that we all know, but these changes are feeling permanent.  World events have precipitated an economic realignment that is yet to be completely appreciated and understood.  But, I do not want to sell the residents of these areas short.  I'm sure that many are doing everything that they can to continue their lives in a productive way and what they can to make their community a better place.

You can check out more photographs from this part of the project on our Facebook page.