Figments and Fragments: Views along Main Street is a long-term project encompassing photographs of details of walls, streets, sidewalks and shop windows along the length of Main Street in Beacon, New York where I live. When I began the project, the mile-long street seemed quite ordinary, ugly even, but the act of returning over and over again with the camera has begun to reveal fragments of color and shape, scraps of history, and unexpected juxtapositions created out of light, shadow, reflections, and an awakened imagination.
The accidental calligraphy of human intervention, from paint spattered walls and children’s chalk drawings on sidewalks, to the remnants of faded signs from a long gone industrial past, all attract my interest. I also like the way an early morning sun casts shadows of window signs across shop interiors, creating abstractions out of brightly colored walls, or how a low-angled high-contrast light sometimes robs a pavement of its usual look, giving me a monotone gift of light and dark; a color photograph with no color.
I enjoy the quiet discipline of walking up and down Main Street through the changes of season, weather and light and wondering what I’ll find today. It keeps me coming back to the small pleasures of a small street in a small town, visiting the old friends of half-hidden details, and discovering new surprises. Ultimately it’s about finding the poetry in the familiar, and the mystery in the mundane.