it’s apparent i collect many things, but i don’t purchase all of them. here is a series that numbers close to two hundred or so pictures of found gloves. walking new york affords many wonderful visual opportunities and the chance to happen upon many things. i have been taking pictures of gloves for more than ten years. i use an automatic contax film camera and am quite obsessive about where I get my film developed. in paris, no less. my wife used to take regular trips and I would have her drop off the film once a year or so. she has not been in some time so i have about twenty rolls that need to be developed. patience is a virtue.
a many years ago in the new york times, the editorial page published a pictorial of found gloves. this was way before flickr and fffound and the countless online image banks, so to see that someone else shared “my” collection was disheartening. i have learned over the years that nothing is your own. so much is in the air. i have enjoyed spotting the odd glove and am now happy use my iphone to capture them when i don’t have my film camera. whereas not long ago i had to have my camera and all the elements needed to be just so.
this past weekend i was at the beach and the weather was bright, clear and cool. snuggling under the comforter and having a chat with my nine-year-old daughter was a wonderful thing. the conversation was about conventions. not a doll convention but about what i have come to believe about the practice of life—conventions or customs. i told her about my custom of only using my film camera or of always wearing a tie to church. i asked if she’d seen many other men wear a tie. she said she always wears a skirt, is this is a convention or a custom? and i told her that many conventions that i abide by are no longer the norm. shining my shoes for instance. so few people do this themselves, much less have shoes that need to be shined. i wanted her to understand that the customs and rules we follow are changing everyday and she should be aware of this. i tend to talk to my daughter like she is eighteen. I remember visiting the whitney to see the john currin exhibition. she was three or four and we had a discussion about one of his paintings. she doesn’t understand a word you’re saying, my wife said. is that bad? I hope not. i do know she felt it even if she didn’t understand it.