"Exit From Joyland"

The impetus behind my portfolio of work,“Exit from Joyland," likely stems from my ongoing astonishment over the demise of Kiddieland Amusement Park in Melrose Park, Illinois.  Seven years later and I still can’t believe that the cultural star was torn down and replaced by a Costco.

Though I’ve photographed many abandoned schools, churches, farms etc... over the years, the loss of family friendly venues like Kiddieland have left me particularly introspective.

These losses inspired me to seek out places like abandoned playgrounds, drive-in theaters, and amusement parks.  On the surface, they can be fun to shoot as they are full of vivid colors and nostalgic backdrops.  There is a bit of melancholy underneath the settings, though, as modern living renders these once joyful escapes obsolete and the playgrounds of our pasts devolve into proverbial parking lots.

Hot Dog Au NaturelRoller's Last RideThe Past Picture ShowThe Swan Song RideMerry Went RoundWheel of Extinction