Master photographer Steve Polston ’87 has developed a fine art color photography series called “Monuments of the City.” The series focuses on historic architecture and embraces flatness, juxtaposition, reflection and rearrangement of spatial relationships.
Polston explained, “My family would tell you it’s only natural that I take photographs of old buildings. When I was a little boy, too young for tools and not good with a paint brush, I would stand in front of old buildings in my hometown trying to discern the important details of bricks, glass, copper door plates and rotting sills. My dad and older brothers were inside. My mother was there, too, as a design consultant. They remodeled and renovated old buildings.
“Because I walked the city with my grandmother as she sold Avon or did her errands, I often found myself staring at these old buildings to make sense of what was plainly standing before me. I needed glasses. But as a very shy kid, I didn’t really know that my low-vision experience wasn’t normal. And my family, I guess, just thought that I liked to stare at things.
“We introverts pull in detail, memorize it and begin to appreciate it for the story it presents. The meditative nature of medium-format photography with chunky mechanical cameras is just right for staring, and appreciating details that others pass by. I have glasses now, but a camera helps me see.
“My ‘Monuments of the City’ series shows structures we don’t usually consider ‘monuments’ still have visual importance. I see the significance of these buildings on my daily commute, and I invite viewers to explore their own response to these ubiquitous sights and see them anew through my photographs.”
The Bona Thompson Center in Indianapolis hosted Polston’s exhibit this March. Polston is a former senior editor of Outdoor Indiana magazine and earned his master of fine art degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He majored in journalism at Franklin College. View his work at http://www.stevepolston.com/.