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Recycled Memories: Reclaiming Precious Moments in Time

Reclaiming memories and turning them into art: here's the story of some old photos I bought at auction a while back and how a visit to the MoMA helped me rediscover them.

A while ago, I bought a huge lot of old photos at an auction. I was unsure of what I was going to do with them, but it seemed like a necessity to buy them at the time. I glanced over them and put them in a box on a shelf in the closet…to be forgotten. A couple of years have passed since then.

I was recently at the Museum of Modern Art in New York where I saw the works of a photographer who had made a collage out of old photos of unknown people. I was instantly transported to my closet. I too had hundreds of photos that were just sitting there waiting to be seen. When I returned home, I pulled out the box and was amazed. I studied the photos, looking at every detail and while going through them, I tried to imagine the lives of those people in them.

It’s so sad that all of those flashes in time were given away. The person who took those photos must have thought that that moment was significant enough to freeze it in time forever…now, they are mine. And such fantastic photos, they are. High contrast, sharp detail, thoughtful framing, these photos are what art is to me. A frame frozen in time, through the eyes of another. Wow, powerful stuff.

I decided to display my recycled memories behind glass. To keep it interesting, I arrange them into compositions where they relate to one another. These aged photos with scalloped edges are beautiful on their own but when you think of the context in which they were taken, they can become something special to you as well.

written by medusapadlock

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