Saturday, June 16, 2012
A casual book review; God's Own Junkyard
God's Own Junkyard, Peter Blake; 1964,
paperback, first pressing
Tagline: The planned deterioration of America's Landscape
God's Own Junkyard is a black and white picture book. The first 30 pages or so are an essay on the deterioration of America's landscape, and the destruction (for profit) of the great natural beauty of this country.
The rest of the book is black and white photos illustrating this deterioration; from rural back roads to busy city streets.
This work is a bit of a dichotomy. On one hand, it's very nostalgic to flip through and see America in the early 1960s. The landscape that was familiar is now nostalgic to a modern eye.
On the other hand, the warnings of the author seem even more poignant, because our landscape has been further degraded by billboards, soulless buildings, and discarded objects from our materialistic world.
Still, I find a sad beauty in the evidence of our excesses, especially when photographed so starkly, as in the photos compiled in Blake's book. Put this book on your coffee table for casual perusal.. and some of the photos would make a hell of a t-shirt!