Walker Evans, Destin, Florida, 1974
Currently at SFMOMA they are exhibiting a handful of Walker Evans SX-70 Polaroids. I’ve spent quality time with the book, but to see them is something else.
These photographs are almost 40 years old. One thing I noticed is that integrated Polaroids age differently than peel-apart. The colors still look rich and dense, but as the image here shows, there is a strange yellow/green cast. It seems the plastic cover ages faster than the film chemistry underneath it, resembling a brittle plastic cover on some old sofa in Florida.
I don’t know which particular “obscured Coca-cola” sign is on display at SFMOMA, but searching for it on the Metropolitan site reveals this grid. Evans, in the last years of his life, was quoted as saying the SX-70 was a fun, liberating toy. Yet, what you see here, is somebody shooting the hell out of a scene.