In her series, Parts and Labor, photographer Angela Franks Wells details the lives and work of blue collar American culture. The indexical weight of these wrought and industrial forms catalogues lifetimes of dedication to learning, developing skills and struggling to produce a service of labor through the love of craft. Daughter of a machinist and mechanic, Wells was raised in this atmosphere of steel-toed boots, singe marks and tired smiles. Thus, her ethnographic approach to this subject matter comes naturally, as she explains, “I engage the individuals, the space, the tools, and the objects looking for the quintessence of this way of life that lingers as activity continues.” The intensive copper plate photogravure process Wells uses to produce her images bolsters the values of patience, hard work and commitment so prized in this distinct subculture.
This exhibition is on view at Page Bond Gallery from September 6th through September 30th, 2019.