Ron is always taking photos. He shoots anything that looks interesting to him in the moment, perhaps an abandoned row home, or a woman wearing a red t-shirt who happens to walking beside a red wall, or road kill as it decomposes. So he spends a lot of time walking around, looking. Up until the winter of this year, he complained about the garbage on the streets, incessantly. Every day I was met with a new tirade against people who toss their fast food trash out their car windows, or who dump their unwanted junk in the vacant lots. I pointed out to him that he was not only making himself miserable, but also me. As he described it to me, “I didn’t want to just keep complaining about everything, so I began looking at the trash differently. I began to look at the garbage as objects; each object has its history, was owned, used, loved by someone, and now it just flows through the streets. I’m interested in the objects as objects, with their own history, but also in all the objects as a whole. Putting them together they become something else – they can become garbage or they can become art.” On the Ground, an ongoing project, came to fruition in January, 2017. Since then, it has grown to somewhere between 3000-4000 photographs, all shot on an iPhone.
─ Patty Russo, June 2017
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