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“I made the images in the late 1970s at a nursing home in the Des Moines area. My father owned the home and, one summer, he asked me to do some painting there. I was in photography school at the time and needed the money.
A little while later, my father suggested that I take portraits of the residents and charge them (I forget how much) for the photo. I took him up on the idea and asked each resident if they would like me to take a portrait of them.
Only in retrospect have I been able to see that the ones who agreed may have felt they had to, since I was the owner’s son.
The negatives remained in a box for many years, until I decided some months ago to have all of my thousands of negatives scanned onto discs. When I looked at the scans of the negatives I shot at the home, I found a number of them to be striking and decided to try and share them.”
John Kirsch is an editor for an English-language publishing company in Mazatlan, Mexico. Kirsch has previously worked as a reporter for newspapers in Iowa, his home state, and Texas, a state that often made Kirsch feel as though he had entered an alternate universe. He has a B.A. in journalism from Drake University and an A.A. in photography from Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa.