Joe’s Junk Yard shares the history of a family business from its rise to attain the classic American Dream, as it moves through decades of strife, and down to its eventual failure. Joe Sr., a first-generation American and boxer-turned-junkman, built an empire of used cars and scrap metal during the mid-Twentieth century boom times, only to be foiled by a series of tragic events, some originating from within, and his control, but some from without. Photographs of the last decade in business along with ephemera and scrawled-on old pictures from Joe’s scrapbooks attempt to tell the story of this family and its struggles with a changing economy and a stagnant business model, government regulation, urban change, family feuds, addiction, tragic and untimely deaths, and unpaid bills piling up. The family and the junkyard stand as a microcosm for larger themes that exist in our American culture and economy. Kereszi shows the viewer this extended landscape as an apt metaphor for how our things themselves always break down, and can go on to haunt us with their uselessness, begging for salvage and reclamation.
Lisa Kereszi took her first image of her grandfather’s junk yard when she 16. A graduate of Bard College, she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in photography from the Yale School of Art in 2000. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Friday – Sunday: 11am-5pm