I love Baltimore. I grew up in DC, and Baltimore to me was like that friend’s house I always wanted to go to because I instantly felt the love there – with the old Memorial Stadium, the oysters at Federal Hill market and the kielbasi at Krakus Market in Fells Point.
When I moved there to live for a year and to attend art School, that luster wore off initially. The poverty, the danger and the staggering amount of vacant buildings were upsetting. To better understand what I was immersed into, I explored the city in all my spare time. I grew to love the city in a more nuanced way for all of it, and not the nostalgia. There’s something about a love that develops through dialogue, hurt, beauty and honesty that is deeply sustaining. Instead of a whirlwind, it was more like a tide coming in and slowly, completely immersing me – becoming part of who I am in ways that I still carry with me today.
A friend asked me about this project the other day, and I spent some time digging through the archives to find these pictures. It brought back so much for me, that feeling of being there in the city, the people I met in that place, the exhilaration of making art out of waste and collaborating with my friends Tim, Scott and Beth. Over twenty years later to see these images and to experience the magic of those days there again is magic, in its own regard, and because I am still inspired by and exploring themes of ecology, waste, beauty and site poetics today.