/06 Cars

Todd Sanchioni

Covered Cars

This series started out as nothing but turned into something I couldn’t avoid. As a student at the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I was engrossed in the history of photography. Two teachers were seriously influential in my understanding of the medium. I had two teachers that were very influential in my analysis of the medium. Bill Burke turned me onto to Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, and Bernd & Hilla Becher. Robert Frank attempted to emulate Walker Evens, and after time it occurred to me that Bill was emulating Robert Frank. Most photographers are taken by the idea of gathering inspiration from the great photographers who have come before them. Referencing them in your work is only natural—Homage to the Masters! At this same time I was also taking classes with Karl Baden. Karl stressed the importance of carrying a camera at all times, and imparted on me the idea of the photographer as obsessive collector. When I took a photograph in L.A. of a Covered Car under a canopy of palm trees, I could not help but to think of Robert Frank’s covered car from The Americans. My obsessive genes kicked in and I could not pass a Covered Car without capturing it on film. Knowing that there is a covered vehicle in the world that I could cross paths with at any moment keeps me carrying a camera, loaded with B&W film, to this day. Over the past 10 years, what stared as a non-project has taken on a life of its own, and has developed into a very large collection of environmental portraits. Each one takes on a different meaning depending on the viewer, the car, location and the mood and character of the shrouded vehicle. They also have helped me hone my skills a printer, and keep my hands wet in the darkroom. Currently I am producing a limited edition, handmade book, which contains original prints of the best Covered Cars.