Photo Essay

Poor artist

SELF POLTRAIT 30

I started intensively taking Polaroids in London, in 1990.

I would hold the camera ( bought from Bricklane market for a quid) with one hand and shoot myself, then, within the first couple of minutes of the image developing, I would scratch it, manipulate it,paint it and deface it.

My Polaroid "period" evolved in the following decades (and in a different continent) onto different subjects, but at first, I only shot self-portraits. It felt in those days like my only strategy to document the passing of time and my inner (as well as facial) changes over weeks and months of great solitude, poverty and isolation.

And like all great things it looks like it is coming to an end.

I am truly saddened by POLAROID discontinuing many of their films... just like I am saddened by the progressive phasing out of KODAK Super8 film.

I guess there are already new ways of expression for "poor artists" but they all require a substantial arsenal of hardware (e.g. digital cameras, scanners, computers, software etc), and of course electricity ....

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Hi there!

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—The JPG team

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