Rediscovering Beauty in Decay: The Deterioration Series by Robert Farber



The "Deterioration Series" by Robert Farber has an inexplicable hold on my heart and mind. It's a body of work that speaks to something deep within me, an inclination towards the unconventional, the imperfect, and the surreal. These images possess a magnetic quality that compels me to pause and delve into their strange beauty, speaking to a part of me that thrives on the delightfully weird.



The photographs were captured between 1969 and 1984, but in the early '90s, Farber first noticed the film's deterioration. From then until 2013, he revisited his archives, monitoring the transformation as it unfolded. In 2013, he decided to halt the deterioration and archivally preserve the images, freezing the evolution that had been ongoing for decades.


The deterioration series is a testament to the power of time and the profound beauty that can emerge from the most unexpected places. These images showcase the gradual transformation film undergoes over decades without digital manipulation or retouching.



The magic of this series lies in its authenticity. Farber's decision to leave these images untouched allows us to witness the organic decay and distortion that time has imposed on the transparencies. It's a visual testament to the inevitable effects of the world on art, where the materials used to create the images react and evolve.



There exists a captivating interplay between chaos and order. Despite the deterioration and distortion, a mesmerizing sense of composition and color has emerged from the ravages of time. Each photograph feels like a blend of art and alchemy, where the degradation becomes a form of artistic collaboration with the past.



The series serves as a reminder that beauty can be found in imperfection and decay. It encourages us to appreciate the ever-changing, evolving world of photography, where even the passage of time can become a collaborator in the creative process.



Farber's Deterioration Series is a testament to the enduring power of photography to capture moments, emotions, and even the passage of time itself. It has become one of my favorite series, a source of inspiration, and a beautiful reminder that art is as much about embracing the journey as it is about reaching the destination.

Wrapped in White 

by Robert Farber

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Arches

by Robert Farber

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Bedroom Shadow

by Robert Farber

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Lying on the Pacific Coast

by Robert Farber

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For inquiries about Robert Farber's Deterioration Series please email hello@lescollection.com