EXQUISITE DECREPITUDE: Finding Beauty in Decay
First posted to Instagram and Facebook - February, 2019
By David Samuel Robbins
This derelict gym in an obscure neighborhood of Mumbai is a prime example of what I refer to as "Exquisite Decrepitude". Every surface is heavily distressed: mottled, peeling paint, rusted steel and cracked mirrors.
Within all of that I find great beauty, deep history and rich stories. Most of my images were shot through the warped mirror reflections rather than the scene directly. This imbues the images with painterly or illustrative qualities, a less perfectly "literal" portrayal of the world than we usually associate with a photograph.
In the course of my internet research about the ancient - but rapidly dying - discipline of Kushti wrestlers and their gyms (Akharas, Akhadas) in India, I had encountered some pictures of this place, but it took over a year to find the name, locate it, an arrange access.
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