Team Member: Jonathan Pierro, Warehouse Manager
Artist: Andreas Gursky
Location: Museum of Modern Art, New York
In 2001, I was a young, amateur photographer living in New Jersey working at a photo lab with a side gig taking photographs of houses for realtors. My wife was the one who wanted to do something “cultural” and we decided to take a day trip into the city and visit the Museum of Modern Art. We were lucky enough to see an exhibition of 40 of Andreas Gursky’s photographs, which really changed my opinion of art – something I had always considered “stuffy.”
.99 Cent stole the show for me. As a photographer myself, I had great respect for the framing of shot, the amazing detail of the items, and the vibrance of the colors. I had been to hundreds of .99 cent stores in my life and to see such a common view as a work of art really spoke to me. I could spend hours looking at the details. I’ve found myself counting the pieces of candy at times.
I began working at SRI about 5 years after seeing this exhibition and my entire view of the art world has since changed. My wife gifted me a poster of that photograph one year for Christmas and it hangs in our home to this day. I have since had the privilege of seeing a number of Gursky’s works up close and personal, but nothing has ever topped .99 Cent.