Tom M. Johnson Captures The Isolation And Melancholy Of Pittsburgh Parking Lot Attendants In Their Booths

Tom M. Johnson: ‘One of my first commissions in Pittsburgh was to photograph the parking lots in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. On a chilly late December afternoon, as the turquoise sky surrendered to the city lights, I was struck by the isolation of a parking lot attendant sitting in his booth. Through the booth’s weathered Plexiglas I sensed his melancholy, alone with nothing other than his thoughts to keep him company. Like this man I am often alone and isolated; I felt a connection to him. Pittsburgh is a commuter city with marginal public transportation, so most commuters drive into the city from Pittsburgh’s surrounding suburbs, and thus need a place to park. Around downtown Pittsburgh there are many parking lots, some large and corporate, others small and privately owned. Many are ground-level lots tended by a single attendant, who takes payment and organizes the comings and goings of the commuters. I am drawn to the architecture of the booths because they fit nicely within my preferred format: square. I photograph them not as obscure structures; I take their portraits as I see them, as animate objects with a character shaped by years of harsh climate and the wear of multiple tenants. This project is an equal study of both the booth and the attendant. Their relationship is symbiotic: the attendant needs the booth for comfort and function; the booth needs its occupant for significance’.

Tom M. Johnson captures the isolation and melancholy of Pittsburgh parking lot attendants in their booths

Tom M. Johnson captures the isolation and melancholy of Pittsburgh parking lot attendants in their booths
Alec
Tom M. Johnson captures the isolation and melancholy of Pittsburgh parking lot attendants in their booths
Kenneth Dawkins
Tom M. Johnson captures the isolation and melancholy of Pittsburgh parking lot attendants in their booths
Sue
Tom M. Johnson captures the isolation and melancholy of Pittsburgh parking lot attendants in their booths
Kenny

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