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The Beauty of Decay

David Rowe
United States, 2020, 20 min.

In English.

The Beauty of Decay follows Wayne Martin Belger, an American photographer/artist, through his exploration of Wonder Valley, California using the camera he made from a human skull designed specifically with decay in mind, and the creation of his final prints and frames all the way to opening night of his exhibition at the Torrance Art Museum. Wonder Valley is the subject and playground for Wayne's photography with the Third Eye Camera. Here Wayne explores what life once was in a place that started with so much hope and inspiration, a place that eventually embodied greed, isolation, and delusional ideals of the American dream. Photographing the abandoned homesteads inside and out and discovering artifacts in and around the homes, Wayne collects everything he needs to make incredible prints of his photographs and create steel frames that tell the story of the life and decay that exists there now and then.

Director's Statement

I read about Wayne in a small free magazine over ten years ago, and the descriptions and photographs of his work stuck to the back of my mind ever since. Then a few years ago I was searching for a new subject to make a documentary about and remembered Wayne's work. I researched and discovered that Wayne was still working, doing his thing stronger than ever, and so I contacted him over and over until after a couple years he finally agreed to shoot something with me. Upon our first shoot, I discovered so much more than I ever could have imagined about Wayne and his art, enough to make a ten part series if I had the time and budget, but I didn't have much of either. So we focused on his Third Eye Camera and the exploration of Wonder Valley, California both rich with visuals and story.

Category: Documentary, Short Doc.
Themes: Photography, Human Spirit.

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