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John Humble, Prices and 10 year-old Photos

Via the excellent photoblog American Suburb X I came across the photos of John Humble, an LA-based photographer who has been capturing the banal side of the city for several decades. The Jan Kesner Gallery has an excellent overview of his images which is actually much better than the photographer's own website. Humble was the subject of an exhibition at the Getty last year and a book.

I'm posting the photo above because I like how prices on signs serve to anchor a photograph in a particular time and economic climate. In movies when they show gas stations I'm always looking at the price to try to figure out when it was filmed. This photo is from 1997. I think there's something odd about pictures that are a decade old. They sit in this uncanny valley where they seem almost contemporary, but not quite. They're not yet old enough to evoke any sort of nostalgia, which seems to kick in around the 20 year mark.

Speaking of things roughly 10 years old, I can't write a blog post about the late 1990s without linking to the Back Street Boys incomparable I Want it That Way, unfortunately not available for embedding. Still, click thru for 4 minutes of pure pop pleasure.

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