Nearly 50 arresting photographic prints by unknown snappers are featured in Familiar Strangers: Vernacular Photography at Matthews Gallery. Owner Lawrence Matthews began collecting interesting “found photos” over a decade ago. He found them in antique stores, including in Paris and London, and in estate sales, and some were gifts from acquaintances.
“The way I’ve chosen them for the show is they have to have what I feel is an aesthetic component — composed interestingly like a photographer would, even though we assume these to be amateurs. I think most of these were just snapshots, frankly. Aside from the aesthetic quality, there may be something mysterious or humorous, or something that is touching without being overly sentimental. One great example is a photo of a young boy on a bicycle coming toward the photographer, and he’s scowling and deliberately riding over the photographer’s shadow.”