John Lusis is a photographer based in Chicago, IL. He received his BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Upon graduating he began to focus his work around the built environment of Milwaukee. He is now pursuing his MFA at Columbia College Chicago and is a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. His current work is focused on smaller Midwestern cities. It explores vernacular homes and main streets and how over time these environments have transformed and often times become outdated. Many of these spaces are attempting to transcend the old while still illuminating the outmoded.
Patina grew out of my penchant for vernacular buildings that show adaptations added throughout their history. Many of these spaces are in transition, attempting to transcend the old while still illuminating the outmoded. I have chosen to photograph cities where vernacular houses and main streets, have, over the course of time, become outmoded or have shifted form. Boarded windows, plastic sheeting, and shattered glass block the faces of these buildings, obscuring their vision outward towards the street. Skinless homes appear as dark un-homely forms, traces of what they once were.
Amalgamations of different architectures co-exist within the spaces I photograph, clashing together to highlight the constant production of the new. An anxiety exists within these once vibrant downtowns, obscuring the fact that previously these structures were meant to stand for potential and strength. In turn, the photographs symbolize what is blotted out in the constant ruination and reconstruction of cities. Taken out of context, these buildings go beyond representing the places they are from, and exemplify the constant desire for the new that is never attained.
To view more of John’s work, please visit his website.