Bustamante records the subtle and often overlooked poetry that exists in everyday life and ordinary places. He photographs all over the world but never identifies locations and is inspired by such universally banal subjects as vacant lots, rows of parked cars, billboards, and the façades of apartment buildings. This work, from his series Something Is Missing, records a surprisingly beautiful scene he discovered on the street. Bustamante collects and preserves these found sculptures with the aid of his camera, perhaps as an extension of his work as a sculptor. More than simply documents, the resulting photographs are like vivid memories-slightly melancholic evocations of rare and magical ephemeral moments.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed and dated on the verso TL: "J. M. Bustamante. 5 [encircled] // 1/6. 1997."; stamped in ink on the verso BL: "TEMPERATURE ADVICE 16-21° HYGRO 50-60% [in oval format]"; dealer's label (Mertens, Brussels) affixed to verso; inscribed in blue ink on label: "vitre // Optiwhite"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Hidden in Plain Sight: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection," May 15, 2007–September 3, 2007.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Everyday Epiphanies: Photography and Daily Life Since 1969," June 25, 2013–January 26, 2014.
Number five from an edition of five (?) prints. [N.B. This print is numbered 5 and 1 of 6 by the artist on the reverse.]