Photographs by Peter Kayafas.
Purple Martin Press, 2012. 104 pp., 42 duotone illustrations, 8¾x11½".
Socio-documentary photographer Peter Kayafas explores the abandoned buildings of the West in this elegant monograph and exhibition catalog. His timeless images are often considered contemporary extensions of the visions of luminaries such as Walker Evans and Lee Friedlander. The crumbling churches, barns and houses — once maintained as part of vital communities of farmers and migrants — now stand in various states of decay. The images are “simple and spare, yet quietly overpowering with their evocations of history on a scale beyond that of individual lives,” buildings as he might photograph people: he creates formal portraits to capture the dignity and resilience of the simple but extraordinary structures that seem to call out for recognition.