Books, like city streets, are mass produced cultural constructions. Both have long histories, protocols, and purposes. They are both thoroughfares through which people travel seeking knowledge, information, entertainment, escape, or maybe just to kill time. Both are created as a medium for interaction and engagement and despite the production processes used to create them, they end up being one of a kind, due to the passage of time and the traces left by those who traveled through the blocks or the pages.
As a child, I remember being fascinated with how books and street scenes looked and felt. The flaked gold on the embossed spine of an old copy of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden". The maze of electrical wires hovering above a pedestrian's head like a web. As each street corner grows more unique with time, so does each book. They are discarded treasures that I am drawn to recycle and transform. I take photographs of people moving and living in the streets, using slow exposures to capture the movement of light on the faces of people and buildings. The old books I passionately collected quite naturally became canvases. Through these paintings, I study and capture the unseen stories of life.
-Scot Velardo, 2007.