If you haven’t stopped by The Antiques Garage, an annex of the Hell’s Kitchen flea market in an actual garage, you’ve been missing out. This video by Michael Kasino (Redux Pictures) takes us behind the scenes of vintage photo selection at an eclectic shop run by Robert Skingle.
While The Antiques Garage actually sells a wide spectrum of decorative arts and vintage finds, their antique photos seem to hold a special charm and sway over customers. Each “found photo” for sale is hand-picked by owner Robert Skingle, who may go through 200 photographs before finding a perfect picture.
“Sometimes it’s the way it was printed, sometimes it was camera-shake,” Skingle explains. “Sometimes someone cut something out of it, sometimes they scribbled on it. Sometimes they captured everything just at the right moment.”
Upon closer inspection, certain trends emerge among the most popular photographs of The Antiques Garage. Often, background events are more interesting than the photo subject, or a particular method of photo development turns an ordinary picture extraordinary. Vintage female nude photographs are especially popular with young women. Skingle has found that most of these customers seek out the unadulterated, natural aspect of these pictures: “This was the beauty of a woman without any facelifts, or whatever it might be––the nudes are just beauty.”
His choices capture casual snippets of life that aren’t preserved and circulated the way that famous historical photographs or portraits are––they act as time capsules of scenes most of us would never be able to experience otherwise. “Instead of being thrown away,” Skingle explained, “these photos live on.”
Browse his selections––and perhaps gives one of them new life––at The Antiques Garage located at 112 West 25th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.