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Photography Pigment Print Photography Pigment Print

38 ¾” x 28 ¾”


Tim’s Matches


“Some objects have an irresistible effect, as if we were tied to them by a wire.”


-James Elkins, The Object Stares Back


My uncle’s matchbook collection captivated me: hundreds of matches roughly the same shape and size jammed into a giant, glass hurricane jar. Examining them individually, I marveled at the breadth of bars, restaurants, and special special occasions commemorated on the covers, and registered both their artistry and banality. Time’s passage was palpable as I handled the worn and dusty matches, many of the establishments long closed. The trail of matchbooks through the decades acted as a roadmap to part of my uncle’s life.

I believe the matchbooks’ embedded histories and their form elicited in me the
“irresistible effect” Elkins describes. Intense looking and a desire to fully
investigate the physicality of the objects allowed me to embark on a visual
transformation that brings new life and appreciation to an old collection.

Rosalie Rosenthal

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