Photographs from a post industrial town.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Pete Spynda

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Pete Spynda

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Photographs from the rustbelt

In 2000 I began traveling around Pennsylvania to document the rust and decay of abandoned factories through medium format photographs. I would compose images I felt were reflective of the Abstract Expressionist painters of the mid twentieth century.

As the rustbelt slowly evolved from industrial cities to whatever it is you want to call them now, many of these buildings have been destroyed and replaced with housing developments and new office buildings. These photographs are a celebration of a bygone era.

Most of my photographs were taken in Pittsburgh, Braddock, McKees Rocks, Lawrenceville, Erie, Meadville, Oil City, and yes even Cleveland.

Many of these photographs are original prints made when I was in college and have been sitting in boxes for 15+ years. The negatives are long gone and these prints are all that remain. Some part of me wants to hold on to these but another part of me wants to let them move on to a home where they will be appreciated.

I have always been a fan of the abstract painters Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Cy Twombly, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt and many more. These photographs I hope are an homage to their works.

Technically these were shot with a medium format camera. In college I had access to a Hasselblad. That was like learning to drive in a sports car. After college I worked at a photoshop and purchased a Mamiya 330 from the owner Knox Carter. That job while it didn’t pay for shit, was a great way to save on film processing and print the occasional small run of photographs.

10 x 10 prints are printed on archival Fuji paper

20x 24 are also hand printed on 20x24 Fujifilm Lustre.

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