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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Forty-Six: Automotive expression turning rusting metal into visual ideas > 1949 Buick, Bluff, Utah, 2009
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1949 Buick, Bluff, Utah, 2009

1949 Buick, Bluff, Utah, 2009

After shooting the exterior of this car for about twenty minutes, it occurred to me that I was missing the point. Although the exterior of the car certainly evoked the passage of time, it did not come close to the sense of ruination conveyed by the interior. I built this image very simply including only part of the front seat, strewn with rubble and rat droppings, the door handle, window crank, armrest, and shredded insulation on the door. A huge hole draws the eye, a symbol of lost function and empty dreams. The car sits rotting in front of a trading post. I focused on internal rather than external decay to express the nature of utter ruin.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
1/100s f/4.2 at 67.0mm iso200 full exif

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Phil Douglis28-Nov-2009 02:45
The old Buick sparkles and shines no more, Rose. Sixty years of decay will slow down the best of cars, particularly if they are left to rot. And yes, it could well be a metaphor for the Industrial Age itself, which has had its century and a half of glory and now must recede into the past.
sunlightpix28-Nov-2009 01:11
You've shown that a car is not a good investment; it loses its shine and sparkle over time.
Lost functionality and internal decay, perhaps a metaphor for the industrial age of the past century.
Phil Douglis25-Nov-2009 23:25
An industrial landscape! You have given me a new category to explore, even if by metaphor. Thanks, Tim, for the idea.
Tim May25-Nov-2009 23:13
After looking at so many of your previous images of landscapes, I can't help see this as a mini landscape of industrial erosion.
Phil Douglis24-Nov-2009 00:10
Anyone who remembers 1949 has a few wrinkles here and there in 2009. Sixty years is a long time, for man or car. This image is all about texture and tonality, Vera.
saltzman4023-Nov-2009 23:37
The textures and tonality of the photo really make it. Reminds me of our human wrinkles and fragility.
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