Dear Martin is a collection of photographs made by an unknown photographer in the late 1960s. At a glance they document an anonymous man modeling an assortment of women’s bikini bottoms on a rooftop in an unknown city. A lack of captions, however, compels us to look more intently at each photograph in an effort to either identify with the man we are looking at or formulate a story of why and how he created these images. It’s possible that he worked alone, making self-portraits, recording a static performance on a stage he knew completely. His work documents a relationship with the lines and contours of the building’s architecture as much as it does his roundish body with a collection of bikini bottoms. Whether his intent or not, we become familiar with the details of this space, but never identify where exactly it is or how he could ever leave it, just as it’s unclear what sexual preference, if any, his chosen swimwear is intended to imply.
These photographs where discovered by California-based artist Jason Brinkerhoff, whose photographic practice has produced important positions in the field of outsider photography in recent years, including his project Type 42 (Anonymous) and his presentation of the work of John Kayser. Type 42 (Anonymous), in collaboration with Delmes & Zander, Cologne, was the subject of a book published by Walther König with an essay by Cindy Sherman, and exhibited in the group show System and Vision at David Zwirner, New York (2015). The photography of John Kayser was discovered in Los Angeles, CA in 2015, and in partnership with Ampersand, Portland has been the subject of exhibitions at FARAGO, Los Angeles and The Journal, Brooklyn in 2016.
Perfect bound paperback; 151 pages
Portland: Ampersand Editions, 2015
6 x 8 1/2 in.