And then of course some of the houses were just beautiful houses because of the quality of the workmanship, as compared to some of the houses you'd see out west in the California, Nevada, Arizona places where you had a lot more suburban homes, tract homes, and much newer homes. [Wells brings up a photograph on the screen of a bare room, adorned only by a broom, an old picture frame, and a wall mirror. He describes its backstory.]
This is on the South Side, in a house that I accessed through a realtor in Providence. And this particular house had been cleaned within an inch of its life. This was one of those important photos to me because a lot of times people think that all the foreclosures are disastrous and dirty and had been vandalized. I've seen plenty that are like that, but [in] this one, what was most interesting was [that] you could have eaten your lunch off of the floor of this place. So, whoever had cleaned this place out actually had done a very nice job and left this really beautiful mirror behind. And, of course, [there is] that very typical kind of Providence color palette in the painting of the walls.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT? I have just in the last six months started photographing houses that have been cut in half in India. These are houses that are either legally or illegally in the way of roads that are being built in India as the government updates the roads system in the wake of globalization and tries to modernize [the country]. I'm not really passing a judgment on whether I think that's a good thing or a bad thing, but what has happened is that these houses are marked by something called the National Highway Authority of India, and then contractors come along and they literally demolish the building right up to that point. And so you have people who are still actually living in and around these houses. [For] some of the houses, the people who lived in them were compensated when their houses were cut in half; some of the people were not compensated because they shouldn't have been on that land. And so this is a new project that's using some of the same skills and some of the same approaches that I use on the foreclosure project, but obviously it's also slightly different. [But] it's still about the idea of home.
Yellow Peril Gallery will host an opening reception for "Foreclosed Dreams" on April 18 at 5 pm. (The exhibition will run until May 12.) The following night, April 19 at 5 pm, Wells will take part in a salon at the Providence Athenaeum about the role of art in promoting social change.
: This Just In
, David H. Wells, Yellow Peril Gallery