Chicago, Pawn Shop

Why are some of us attracted to dereliction? What mysteries do we see in the decay, in the bricks and concrete and broken glass? Perhaps energy lingers, from a time long ago, the city’s spirit of yesteryear, from the days when all was fresh and young. We are like children, peeking at the ghosts our imaginations conjure up, a frisson of delicious fear. We project onto the vast buildings our innermost terrors, our fantasies too, reliving films of huge metropolises, black and white films filled with the sights and sounds of 1950s America, that land of infinite promise, of riches and freedom, a land so vast one can vanish and emerge anew. And these buildings now retain that ember, with their tatty writing and signage. As one holds close the clothes of the dead, inhaling once more their perfume, the derelict buildings are a link to the America of our dreams. And in the dereliction is chaos and in chaos lies freedom, for one can wander an infinity of routes, totally free of all ties of recognition. This art work is available from my online gallery at


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