Saturday, May 23, 2009

old things are much better than new things

i've been to about a million antique shops in the past two days.
it's very sad to think about how decorative and lasting things used to be compared to how they are now. "back in the day" even potato sacks looked nice, with little illustrations and stenciled letters on burlap.... now potatoes come in plastic bags that end up in landfills.

nothing is made to last anymore; the tragedy of this is that so many things grow more beautiful with age.

i bought some fantastic old photographs at one of the shops:

i love the quaintness of the family, and how absolutely absolutely grumpy the little boy by the tree is. also his boots :] unfortunately i have no information about the identities of any of the people, or even the locations or years. if anyone can guess from the clothing, i'd love to know!

this made me remember that i actually scanned a few of my own family's very old photographs a couple months back. here they are:

i really wish that it was socially acceptable to wear fancy old clothes. i mean, there's steampunk and goth and things like that, but they're sort of lame. i really wish i had lived in the 1950s/60s in london... apparently at that time there was a subculture known as "teddy boys" (and "teddy girls"). they were somewhat associated with gangs and whatnot, but their fashion was fantastic. they wore jackets and waistcoats and trousers, all of which needed to be custom made and were paid for in installments. not such a fan of the hair styles... but i guess you can't have it all.
(replace the quiffs with powdered wigs, my other true love, and then you've got something.)

they're all delightfully androgynous. :]

for more teddy boys info, go to the wikipedia page:
(it's enormously hard to find any information about them for some reason.)

(as for powdered wigs....

...amadeus is a fabulous movie, clearly.)

back to my point about old things being superior.
even more recent lovely things are disappearing.
polaroid film, for example, is no longer being made. which is awful, as they're a perfect example of the beauty in imperfection. this is a photo i just adore, of my house that my mom took in 1994:

in contrast, a white-balanced, perfectly in-focus digital photograph is artless to me... and will never become more beautiful with age while stored on a computer (unless you save it as something lossy like a jpeg i guess, but i don't think that's really the same).

what do you think? are you drawn to antiques and things that are falling apart with history, like i am? why or why not?


  1. my gosh, I know what you mean! i absolutely adore old photographs... mmm, teddy boys... (john lennon was a teddy boy in the 50's. cute :) And what you said about potato sacks-- it's the same way with furniture. It used to be dreamy, wooden, and hand-made... but now stores fill their shelves with particle-board crap. I saw a six-foot bookshelf at target for $30! why? cause it was made out of cheap, allergen-filled particle board... gosh, I could really go on for hours. but my current obsession is a pair of victorianesque heels I just bought at the thrift store for $5... I guess it's just the gross consumerism here in america. new things are just not meant to last. there's a reason why 18th century furniture is still passed down as heirlooms, and chairs from ikea are often found in dumpsters.

  2. This is a perfect reminder of a fun couple of days with you Teagan. So glad you posted. Love, Mom

  3. Not bad!

    I do agree with you in saying, I wish things were made to last.
    And definitely a fan of the Teddy style - I don't think it would be so odd to wear that today at all!
    Actually I feel more as though some of that has just been incorporated into "hipster" style.

  4. Teagan, I want to wear a powdered wig. Let's do it next H-ween. =D

  5. I agree with you on these notions of yours. Old things are amazing because they are parts of a person's history. Through photographs, we get to see little, precious moments from someone else's life. I honestly wish we had a better, fancier style these days, too. Goth/Emo honestly isn't as adorable as androgynous clothing.
    I also agree with you that digital photography doesn't have the same, nice feeling as feeling. When I look at my old prints from the darkroom, I feel very nostalgic. However, when I do the same with the .jpegs on my computer, there is no fuzzy feeling.

  6. I love all things like that.
    I also have a strange obsession for tins, you never see anything in a tin anymore. My mum has loads of them with thousands of buttons in them.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one. Reading everyone else's comments, I realised that they were basicly taking the words out of my mouth!
    Thats why I love your art, not only because of the colours you use through out, but the reflection of nature and old things.
    I'm really not great at explaining this, so I'll just some it up: I unbelievably, completely and utterly understand what you are saying and I am unconditionally in love with your art. And you.