I left New York for Los Angeles eight years ago now. I never pictured myself here, but an opportunity came up that I thought I should take.
So I walked through the door that said yes to California. After several years of fighting against it, I’ve accepted it – embraced it at times.
… There are pickup trucks out on the roads here, piled high with junk and scrap-used appliances, tire rims, rebar, car parts, bicycles, mattress springs, home satellite dishes, and every other conceivable form of metal object. I see them everywhere, shuffling down alleyways, parked overnight in empty lots, and loaded up out on the highways. Standard truck beds are augmented with handmade bins or armatures to keep the scrap packed in and piled high.
Hand-painted or stenciled phone numbers line the sides of the trucks, advertising JUNK PICK UP or HAULING or SCRAP METAL REMOVAL. l’d seen scrap trucks all over America, but seeing them daily in California reminded me of The Grapes Of Wrath and the Joads piling all of their belongings onto a truck and moving west, hitting the terminus of CA.
… Walker Evans spoke of his interest in the “esthetically rejected”‘ subject. He was photographing junkyards as early as 1935. Curators and critics have noted how these images present a duality: “American prosperity as well as its decline.”? That was eighty-five years ago, and here we are now. And once I noticed the trucks, I started seeing the scrap on the streets for its potentiality – how much could you get for that old bed frame or frying pan?
— tratto da NOTES, il testo di Schmelling che accompagna le fotografie