In the collecting world, it’s been said that two of something is an interest and three of something is a collection. So it goes with thematic photographic essays. Learning the impetus or reason behind such a group of similar things is always revealing. Discovering the spark behind the passion has always been a question that I ask.
In early December of last year, friends Jane
and Francois Robert
, both accomplished designers/ photographers, paid a visit to St. Louis where my wife and I had the opportunity to join them for dinner. The couple was passing through our city on the way to their winter home in Tucson, Arizona. Robert has recently received international acclaim for his thematic series of images entitled “Stop the Violence
”, using human bones from a skeleton he acquired at an auction.
Before dinner, Francois and Jane showed me a photograph of an abandoned building he photographed in our city while on a trip earlier that same day. The building had been painted completely white, with white boarded up windows. The photograph was a strong symbol of urban decay, its heavy shroud of white paint a real estate ploy to clean up a possible eyesore.
While dinner was being prepared, Jane noticed some daikon radishes being prepared for dinner. Seeing the white rashes strikingly displayed on the black platter became the next white photo – and a series was born.
For the rest of their road trip to Tucson, Jane and Francois were on the search for white photos. Working as a team, the result is this photographic travelogue on the subject of “white.”
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. “I enjoy the search for incredible, obscure objects that challenge, delight and amuse my eye. More so, I enjoy sharing these discoveries with the diverse and informed readers of Design Observer.”
All images © Jane and Francois Robert.