There’s something fascinating about a stranger’s collection of, once cherished, old photos. And what do you do with these photos? Leave them be, or start your own collection with photos of kids who are now your parents age, warped, ripped, and unloved? Read on to find out what ‘found photographers’ do with their collections!
When you encounter a dusty shoebox or photo album with yellowing plastic at a flea market, don’t you paw through them like you would when searching for postcards, pick up one you see smiling back at you from years and lifestyles past, feel bad separating it from the lot, and then proceed to buy them all?
Found photography is a form of visual art in which the artists use found photos to create, often through manipulation of the original, artwork. It’s been called voyeuristic, because of the fact other people’s lives are on display, for all to see! So, if you think things that are thrown away, or torn up, are gone forever, think again!
Berlin born artist, Joachim Schmid, is one notable, contemporary, found photographer. The selection of his creations, seen above, are from different periods in his career that kicked off in 1982, after ‘tearing’ away from college.
As a Berliner, it’s no surprise Schmid found the majority of ‘the’ photos (can we call them ‘his’?) at Berlin flea markets. He uses them as his raw material, piecing two torn photos together to form a whole that looks like it had never been 2 separate pieces to begin with, writing witty essays and other narratives to accompany the piece but also, at the same time, alluding to the distance between the viewer and the photographic subject. He doesn’t study the photographic subject as an anthropologist would, but instead studies and works with the photograph, paying attention to material, color, distortions as well as the subject, to create fascinating works he, himself is fascinated by!
Do you have your own creations or interesting, straight out of the shoebox, found photo you’d like to share?