Juliana Roccoforte Novello - Joe, Willets Point


I got a call the other night on my cell phone while standing in the living room. The Golden Pond had been burned to the ground. Mikki and Joe were interrupting one another to explain how the flames climbed high into the sunset, how their eyelashes had been charred and their clothes covered in soot. The Golden Pond was not a pond exactly, but a gargantuan puddle of water that had accumulated over time out of a continuously running fire hydrant at the junkyard. At roughly two feet deep and 30 feet wide, it was a body of water. Around the corner and over a fence, there was a secondary pond, also made up of water from the leaky hydrant, but it didn’t have a name. Out of The Golden Pond grew cattails and bulrushes, high grass that swayed in the wind. It was the only bucolic corner of the junkyard, secluded and sprawling; the stage for our artistic endeavors. I met Joe while hiking around the junkyard one day in 2018, with my 4x5 camera propped over my shoulder. He was a Polish immigrant, an incredibly tall and lean sexagenarian.
He came up to me and asked if I was a photographer and “Did I want to see his studio?” He then brought me, stepping gently over debris and mud, to The Golden Pond...
Juliana Roccoforte Novello

1. Edition of 89 05/2024
Text by Jiuliana Roccoforte Novello Book Design by Jess Kuronen, 89books 70 pages
30x30 cm
32 color photographs
Digital print
ISBN 979-12-80423-60-3

Category Book