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Scratching the surface

I've been photographing at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista, a sprawling lot teeming with junked tractors, steam engines and farm gear dating to the '50s. I've always found it a challenging place to photograph: it's hard to get a good picture of a tractor, for example. I did a book on the place titled "Twenty-six American Tractors" that alluded to Ed Ruscha's photographic works. It was never published. I'm not sure the subject lives up to the concept. I worked on it for two years, but the work wasn't lost: those pictures took me to different places. Scratches, shapes, textures and paint reveal themselves with the urgency of paintings.

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