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Jerome, Arizona
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© Aaron Siskind Foundation

Aaron Siskind
American, Jerome, Arizona, 1949
Gelatin silver print
13 1/2 x 9 7/8 in.
84.XM.1012.122

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I have brought to my picture-making, qualities of expression that came out of my experience of music and literature. My belief in the meaning of abstract expression came from my love of music. And my use of metaphor comes out of my experience of poetry and literature.

Made in the abandoned mining town of Jerome, Arizona, this photograph of cracked and peeling paint by Aaron Siskind has an almost musical rhythm that echoes the influences he discussed in the statement above. In Siskind's close-up view, the paint is transformed from the reality of decay into abstracted, multi-layered textures and tones formed by shadow and reflection. Seen in more selective detail than the eye registers at a glance, the paint becomes a metaphor of the passage of time and the impermanence of place.