I spent a lot of my summer with my dad in the junkyard. I needed a new driver’s side mirror, battery and windshield for my van and he wanted bucket seats for his chevy and a rusted out lawnmower for yard art. We managed to scavenge all of the items on our list plus $4.72 in change, a Bob Seger cassette, a busted piece of pink porcelain and chiggers. While he foraged I photographed. It wasn’t until recently that I found the time to scan in the film: dad perched on car hoods, thousands of trucks swallowed by weeds, mountains of metal grasping up towards the blue sky. These images are not only the story of my summer, but of a relationship twenty-four years in the making.
I have always been compelled to make photographs of my father. He is interesting; he has never met a stranger and the stories he weaves have the ability to captivate an entire room. At the end of fall semester, during an open studio, a MFA student from a visiting school told me that my narratives were quirky and compelling. All of the intriguing pieces originate from my dad. Last summer, while visiting my uncle’s donkey farm, my Aunt Linda boldly stated, “Pete got all of the cool in the family”. That evening I watched him wash his shit stained flip-flops in a vat of mud near the pasture gates.
I am beginning to realize that the photographs are about him; I think they always have been.