In January 1981 I was teaching a workshop in Death Valley with my dear friend Henry Gilpin. During our multi-day workshop we made a trip to the ghost town of Rhyolite. One of our workshop participants had a vehicle that used diesel fuel, rather than gasoline. At that time there was no diesel fuel available for purchase in Death Valley. The participant was in need of fuel and had learned diesel fuel was available in the nearby town of Beatty, Nevada. We decided to take the whole workshop group there so we could get snacks and fuel for much lower prices than inside the National Monument (Death Valley became a National Park in 1994).
When we arrived at the gas station in Beatty, I pulled my van up to a shack behind the station. As I was shutting off the engine I saw a window frame in front of me where the glass had at some point been replaced by corrugated cardboard. The stains and deterioration of the cardboard, overlayed by the window screen, had a mysterious quality to me. So while the others were getting gas and snacks at the general store I set up my 4x5" view camera and made this photograph.
I chose to refer to this image as "Untitled" because my purpose and hope for the photograph was not to document the disintegrating cardboard behind the window screen. That really had nothing to do with why I made this photograph. I was responding to the mysterious patterns of light and dark on the deteriorating cardboard behind the screen. We had not gone to Beatty with the idea of making photographs, but I am glad that I responded to the whim when I was presented with the unexpected opportunity.
Once I complete the prints I need to make at this time, the negative will be retired for traditional silver printing, and will never again be printed in any size as a silver gelatin print.
This silver gelatin, selenium toned, print is approximately 13-5/16 x 10-1/8", personally printed by me (as are all my prints), processed to current archival standards, signed, mounted, and matted to 16x20" on 100 percent rag museum board.
All prints are carefully prepared and packaged in specially designed protective shipping boxes, and shipped fully insured via UPS ground.
Normally there is a long waiting period for John's original prints. This is a rare opportunity to obtain a print with a short waiting period.