Sometimes the meaning of a photograph transforms from what the taker felt when he/she took it to a new meaning dictated by events. So it is with “ The Old Ferguson Place 1980 “ Prince Edward Island Canada.
I took this scene after vowing I would not. I didn’t want to show how beauty could be demeaned by circumstances and neglect.
Finally one day in 1980 I said to myself: “ Soon this house won’t be there. It will collapse and there will be only be rubble to mark the spot”. That made me very sad.
So I did photograph it and the print was well received . Daile Kaplan at Swann auctions asked me to send it along with one of my Marilyns which was scheduled for auction. Imagine my perverse joy when Daile later told me that the Marilyn did not sell, but that The Old Ferguson Place did!
The reason I took the photograph was emotional and the initial response was generally emotional, but when someone looks at it today, Sept. 25, 2008, the reaction has to do with the financial meltdown in the U.S. housing market. In a way it is a symbol of the dispossessed . I feel like I would like to post it next to an ad for a 15 million dollar condo in the New York Times real estate section. Of course, that would be considered political.