Patrick Carr was born and raised in Albia, Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa, where he learned about and came to love photography. He has lived in the Chicago area since 1989, working as a photographer and graphic artist. He enjoys exploring with his camera and can frequently be found wandering through alleys, just to see what he can find, and is rarely disappointed. When not wandering the city, he is in his darkroom, making traditional gelatin silver prints. He currently lives in Evanston Illinois with his wife, painter and sculptor Caryl Carlsen.
If I had to boil my artistic objective down to one sentence, it would be something like “Hey, look at what I found!” I’ve always enjoyed finding things that other people seem to overlook. I can spend hours wandering through alleys, around empty lots and industrial areas, and perusing walls of abandoned buildings, looking for anything that catches my eye. It could be an old toy, a damaged book, graffiti, a torn poster or faded sign, or a broken, half buried piece of pottery. I want to reclaim things that people have given up and make them part of something new. I also frequent antique stores and second hand shops, for the same reason. I love taking old cast-offs and making them part of a still life. All of my photos are analog, made with film and paper in a traditional wet darkroom, and mounted into vintage frames, which work well with the subject matter and tonality of my prints. My prints are small because I want people to come in close, rather than back halfway across a room to see them, and because working small is a challenge. It requires editing images to avoid unnecessary details and distractions.