Twenty Years After Gramps
Twenty Years After Gramps is a portrait of my beloved 90 year-old maternal grandmother, “Nanny,” in the home where she lives alone outside of New York City. Born to German parents in the Bronx, she lived there until age 20 when she married my grandfather, “Gramps,” and moved to the suburbs of the city. Gramps passed away over 20 years ago, and Nanny soon thereafter moved to the home featured in these photographs.
Through this series, I explore the role of photographs in the older years of life. Within a quiet, comfortable and orderly space, Nanny passes most of her time there in solitude. She accumulates very few new things; in fact, you might not know what decade it is based on the objects in her home. Rather, she keeps the space uncluttered with the exception of photographs of family (3 children, 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren) and friends.
Since the 1940s, she has taken thousands of photographs. A photograph is tucked into almost every corner of her home. She continues to take photos regularly, print them at the local CVS, and create new albums. The albums are a visual diary of her life.
With this series, I use photography as a tool to communicate the feeling of quietude in the space - a feeling that is in some ways heightened by the presence of my grandmother’s photographs, as they are a reminder of the activity of a family that once filled her household but has never lived in this home.