This is about it for my experimental series. I have one more picture, which is of a man reworked in this style. It seems to be quite powerful. I’ll show that to you tomorrow. Then, it’s time to move on… at least for now. As you may recall, I’ve been working on a long form project in Central City, New Orleans. It’s been sort of stalled, even though redevelopment progress hasn’t stopped. There are new restaurants on both ends of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, There is a large redevelopment plan coming to fruition on Claiborne Avenue which should provide new shops, a real grocery store and other small businesses on the lake end of the neighborhood. Me? I haven’t worked that as much as should be. But, that’s coming to an end and back I go. That said, one of my biggest issues with the pictures I produced is that they were made in my usual colorful way of working. That seemed to be at odds with the actual content. You know. The color palette isn’t appropriate for the content.
This bit of experimentation seems to have set a stage for reprocessing the images that are already made in the neighborhood. It’s also provided me with a guide for going forward. Not a blueprint. Blueprints seem to be set in cement too much. My work sort of flows. It depends a lot on what I see. And, how I feel.
This picture may take my experimental style a little too far. I’m not sure I need to scratch the image to drive home the point. But, the faded color works. At least for now. Aside from the new development, most of the neighborhood is still the same. Torn and frayed. 70 % of the housing stock is still uninhabitable. Too many drugs on the street. Too many senseless deaths. I believe that will change. But, it’s a generational thing. I certainly won’t be around for that. So, I can only document what is there. Right now. The things in front of me.
What is this place?
The content is really simple. It’s an abandoned “food store.” That’s a local name, or maybe a Southern name, for a mom and pop grocery store. Prices are usually high because the owners can’t get large distribution deals like your local Winn-Dixie or Kroger. So, they buy from local wholesalers or worse, from big box stores like Costco or Sam’s. By the time they get done marking up their goods, they cost far more than any bigger store would charge. But, for people without transportation, or enough money to buy in quantities like most of us take for granted, these little stores are a life line. They also cash checks. And, sell old school items that you can’t buy anywhere else. Unfortunately, they are usually run by people with no business training or real grocery store experience so they don’t last. They close their doors in the middle of the night. Whatever stock they have left is just abandoned. Eventually, the old store is broken into, pillaged and locked up again. And broken into again, and again…
Oh. If you’re expecting a solution on this page, I have none. I just know that things aren’t right.