The visual artist Randy Hage share with us the beauty of aging structures. To do so, he constructs incredible miniatures of storefronts. Plus than being an aesthetic work, he wants, through his creations, to “call attention to the loss of established and diverse neighborhoods as urban renewal and gentrification displace the store owners and the area residents who make up the tapestry of these communities”, as he explains in his statement. Over the past 14 years, 450 storefronts had been photographed and more than 60% of those have closed or have been torn down.
It all started when, in the late 90s, he began to photograph the cast iron facades in the SoHo area of New York as possible subjects for future art projects. Hage then soon realised that it was becoming more than an art project, but a documentary project as well. “These neighborhood storefronts were closing at an alarming rate, falling victim to large scale redevelopment that was exceeding a normal pace for neighborhood change”, he explains. The opportunity to take an artistic testimony of what was, and is not anymore.