Ending at the beginning

Man Ray was the photographer who made me want to be a photographer when I was a 15 year old who had just enrolled in Photography and was trying to make sense of my grandmother’s well-worn Olympus. I think I liked him so instantly because his work seems exotic and intangible when you’re 15 and wishing you were anywhere but where you are (sorry, Omaha in the late 90s). Surrealism is a good place to camp out when reality is SO EXHAUSTING and I think most 15 year olds can identify with the need for escapism.

I’m not sure if this was the exact image that made this click in my brain, but I definitely tried to replicate it the minute I found a friend with an accordion, just as I tried to make increasingly complicated photograms as soon as I convinced my mom our laundry room needed to be a darkroom and she relieved a friend of her barely-used enlarger.

Thank you so much for reading my blogs the past few months. You can view my photos at gvbq.org, you can read my writing most months in the Artseen section of the Brooklyn Rail, and you can find me wandering around New York with a Nikon (until I hit the lotto and finally get that Leica S2)(unless you have an S2 you aren’t using)(please send it to me)(thanks).

Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata