A new exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum is an ode to the Polaroid.
“I’m a collector of photography and I love the Polaroid because of the vivid colors, though some are black and white," said Robert Jackson, photography connoisseur. "I love just the texture of them."
Jackson's exhibit is called "Polaroids: Personal, Private, Painterly" and features Halloween costumes from 1971, some huge hair curlers, an early in-the-mirror selfie and dozens of other images, some a little to risqué for us here at Seattle Refined. Jackson says the photographers and subjects of the images are unknown, making each frame a mystery.
Jackson himself has a massive collection of vintage photographs, some dating back to the late 1800s. But he says some of his favorite images were taken with a Polaroid - the first camera where anyone could take a picture - and with no special skills, see it right away.
"I love the odd things you can see in the Polaroid," he said. "It’s a fun subset of photography I collect. It allowed freedom for the user that they didn’t have [before]. To go to a drug store to get it developed, and thus they could be more creative in what they could take pictures of."
The privacy allowed people to be very creative and do things they otherwise wouldn't do, and create the kinds of things you see here.
"And to be able to have fun!" said Jackson. "Here was more money available and we were in a free-er society, sexually and otherwise.”