February 1, 2010

A Mad Mad World

Beauty in the eye of the beholder? No, Beauty can be found anywhere, and Christopher Payne shows us just how much he can find in some of America's deepest darkest cracks. His photographic studies of abandoned and defunct American Mental Institutions paint disturbing pictures of places and times when best intentions were often overshadowed by worst case scenarios. His sterile approach to preserving the emotions and history lost in these hallways allows us to remain just outside the comfort zone, yet close enough to smell, touch and hear the discomfort -- like the little window witnesses sit behind during lethal injections. Beautiful, frightening, picturesque, horrifying, colorful and unsettling -- just how life should be.