Sometimes it’s nice to be freed from the burden of authorship and

Sometimes it’s nice to be freed from the burden of authorship and provenance, deciding how this artist ranks against that, judging whether an artwork is authentically part of an oeuvre. You could look at the snapshots in last fall’s The Seduction of Color—also a book you can buy, published by Marquand Books and Seattle gallery Paper Hammer—without identifying a single photographer. The anonymous color images were simply harvested via eBay by local collector/curator Robert E. Jackson. He sorted by search terms and his own individual taste, stripping away notions of artistic intention or name value. Too often you stare at a photo thinking how it fits into the Arbus/Avedon/Stieglitz/whoever canon. Jackson’s images are somehow more mysterious and inviting for their lack of signature or context. No scholarly monograph will ever be written on them. And there are millions more in shoeboxes under the bed and at estate sales, waiting to be found.

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