Oaks Park Pentimento
“This lovely book focuses on the ornamental panels of an antique carousel as portals for meditation on the flickering meld of past and present. Jim Lommasson’s exquisite photographs of the twice-painted, much-damaged panels capture the surreal beauty of the original images emerging from and blending with the dissolving landscapes that covered them. The images are rich, intriguing, and poignant. They picture decay as its own vibrant form of life. The three essays that surround and contemplate the images add layer after layer of beautifully voiced history and meaning. The origins of carousels, the identity of the eccentric brothers who painted the second layer, and the shifts in culture that this particular carousel has survived, all add dimension to the images themselves. Oaks Park Pentimento is a timeless treasure about time.”
— Katherine Dunn
“I too have Oaks Park stories from my childhood. To me it is a very good thing that these images will be there in our collective fossil record. From my perspective the images embrace the notion that life does not get easier with time.”
"The images are truly haunting and surreal as they are a strange blend of art nouveau and folk art. They bring to mind painted over wall advertisements from early last century. However, there is such a bizarre blend of disparate imagery that at times I feel as though I am looking at some lost work by Henry Darger. The photographs speak of the passage of time and of loss. Three years after the photographs were taken, the original paintings were restored, and the resulting pentimentos were lost. Lucky for us, however, Lommasson has made this fascinating body of work available."