It started with the bridge. (Below, East Bridge No.6 - Durham,NC)














It was the bridge that marked the end of the long road that runs the length of Duke’s campus. During my time at that school I became well acquainted with the bridge and it’s ever changing face—it was a tradition for students to cover it with graffiti. Over the years it became a battleground of paint—a colorful manifestation for the diversity of voices you find at that school. But after innumerable 2am sessions of spray-paint, decoupage, and latex, the layers built up to a critical massOne day I noticed someone had been ripping away at the layers of paint. Years of advertisements, social awareness campaigns, and declarations of love were hanging in colorful latex globs and crumbling to bricks on the sidewalk. I was sad to see such destruction, and wanted to save it before it disappeared. (Left, East Bridge No.3 - Durham, NC


So I ran back to my room and grabbed my camera.


I loved the way the photos turned out. They captured a moment in the lifetime we of sentiments the bridge held. But I wanted to know what another perspective could see. I sent the photos to my fatherwhose opinion I trust above everyone else’s. While he had no personal connection to the derelict content, he loved the aesthetics. For my father, the photos displayed an artful capture of texture, color, and depth. For me, they held stories. (Right, East Bridge No. 2 - Durham, NC)


We both realized that this could be the beginning of something. I, in North Carolina, and he, in Philadelphia, began to pay special attention to the decrepit, to the aging and the sagging and the rusting that lowlights urban areas. This kind of subject is an often ignored bit of beauty, so we set out to capture it. (Left, Abstract Doorway - North Philadelphia, 2013)




Such divergent approaches can create a unified body of work. On venture around North Philadelphia, we often shot the same things, but rarely did we have the same reasons. I seek secondary meaning. My favorite scenes were those that contrasted Philadelphia pride with the bits we hope you don’t see. My Dad looked for chaos—a state of being often characterized by a substantive aesthetic façade. (Right, Junk Cars-North Philadelphia, 2013)



This diversity offers a lot for the viewer. We give you photos that are snapshots of imagination. You can apply them in your own context, attach your own story, and latch onto what strikes you most. In our collection of wall art, we offer you some beauty that you may have missed. (Left, Sarah...-North Philadelphia, 2013)





Sylvie Spewak

Sylvie Spewak lives in Washington, DC, working on Capitol Hill and doing photography for a local news and arts blog.

Michael Spewak is a partner in Luxe Home, a Philadelphia retailer of home furniture and accessories.