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Fortune and Weight, 1983

Fortune and Weight, 1983

I shot these frames while washing my clothes inside a First Avenue laundromat in January 1969. Frame 26 was one of a series of Lower East Side/East Village neighborhood pictures I made for Beth Israel Hospital's free clinic program, and it was long a part of my working portfolio. But in 1983 -- space limited by a Honda Civic packed with essentials for my long-overdue return to New York -- I left it behind with all the other work I stored (temporarily I thought) in Washington state. Then the fire reduced all my stored prints, this image and at least a thousand more, to naught but smoke and ash, and my own darkroom ability was terminated, like the rest of my career, by the anguish of the loss. But the negative was damaged in such an eerily indicative way, I kept it and had this print made years later by a custom lab.

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