Humpty Dumpty fell off one.
Pink Floyd said we’re all just bricks in one.
And so for a time, I have been rather obsessed with, yes,
Specifically, really old ones with a lot of character and a story to tell.
There’s a bit of insanity in staring at walls. We associate trying to convince an irrational person of an obvious concept as “talking to a wall.” And trying to accomplish impossible things as “beating ones head against a wall.”
For a time, I photographed abandoned mental hospitals in and around Baltimore. Perhaps I was soaking up some of the residual mental illness and ghosts, or maybe just the lead paint, asbestos and rat crap. But I got a little crazy about walls. I showed my work at a few galleries and a magazine used my photos of a hospital in Owings Mills, Maryland. Galleries and news were more interested in the things in front of the walls. But I was more interested in just the walls.
Little or no context. Just me.
And a wall.
Photographing walls may seem simple enough. Certainly, these look like simple images. And that is what I was trying to accomplish.
While I’m sure cool images can be made from other angles and with different light, what I was trying to do was copy the wall. Plainly. Straightforward.
Even light. Lens perfectly parallel to the wall. Level lines. Matter of fact. There it is. Right in front of me.
If these walls could talk, what would they say?
This is my most famous wall. Though arguably, it is an image of a shopping cart.
This is one of my more recent walls. I only shoot black and white now.
This wall has a payphone. In addition to walls, I have also gotten hung up on payphones.
That one wasn’t perfectly straight.
But what wall really is?
Thanks for looking at walls with me. Usually I have to do it alone.
(All images produced using Kodak and Fuji 35mm films with a mix of Leica, Voigtlander, Olympus, Nikon and Kodak cameras and lenses and are copyright protected by Johnny Martyr)