jack toolin
Disposable Income

Strip malls. These malls were not gleaming state of the art examples of consumer culture in the early 80s – they were a bit ‘long in the tooth.’ Still, they drew modest shoppers – friends out for social time, kids looking to play the video games their families couldn’t afford – and they provided employment. I set out to make portraits of people and the things they buy, the product displays and the very functional architecture. I met shoppers drifting through Woolworth aisles, assessing everything from fishing rods to underwear, and I met good friends catching up on things.

Photographs like these are hard to obtain today, given the increased security presence at shopping malls and the concern for personal privacy in the age of ubiquitous electronic sharing. And yet this shopping culture is even more worthy of investigation today.


Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA
The Eye Gallery, San Francisco, CA