Monday, October 27, 2014

JUST MARRIED by Robert E. Jackson

I like to think of myself as an aesthetic based collector of images.   But there is one area which proves me wrong and that is my interest in “Just Married” photos--or “JM” for the purpose of this small essay.  Why do I collect such photos?  I guess I was first drawn to the folk art aspect of them.  The writing of words on one of the most American of objects—the car—to commemorate the wedding ritual is a curious phenomenon.  And sometimes the words are not written on the car, but instead are printed on pieces of paper and applied to the car.  Plus, as these photos show, much more colorful and original comments are to be found on the “get-away” vehicle than simply “JM”.   Generally the photo is all about the car, not the couple who recently married and who will have to suffer the embarrassment of riding off on their honeymoon with a very public announcement of their recent vows.   I haven’t found any foreign examples of this ritual which might point to the car’s place in society not exerting the same power as it does in America or it is perhaps just the sources I use to find material.  I am thinking this ritual is dying out as more people rent fancy cars to leave the reception or don’t drive to their honeymoon destination but rather just take a trip on an airplane.  Also having some sign or writing on the wedding car announcing the recent event was the one public way of telling the world that the couple was JM.  Now we share all via multiple images and videos on Facebook, a special website, YouTube etc.