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FiftyTwo45 presents a selection from the vast body of work by New Jersey based Photographer, John Arehart.

“They say every face tells a story, but every location tells a story, too. I shoot abandoned places, big and small. Through my photographs, I like to show the viewer places they may not typically see in person. Sure, everyone has driven past an abandoned building but not everyone has stopped to get a closer look or better yet, a peek inside. I peek inside … sometimes for hours — and document what I see with my camera. It can be like an out of body experience and so intense that I don’t even realize everything I’m seeing until later when I look at my photographs. It’s terrifying at times but I love it and have to explore every nook and cranny. Curiosity always wins over fear. I love capturing a specific moment in time knowing that the next time I visit — the place will be even more deteriorated, vandalized, overgrown, bulldozed or renovated. I am capturing that exact moment when I am there and preserving it forever … and getting goosebumps at the same time.” – John Arehart


Although originally from Peoria, Illinois, John has lived in many places including Missouri, Louisiana, Delaware, Japan, Taiwan and now New Jersey. His love of photography stems from his family travels as a child, as well as his commercial shoots as an adult. In addition to being a photographer he is an advertising art director/creative director and has worked at two of the world’s largest and most successful advertising agencies: Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide and McCann-Erickson. He was also at a little agency in Princeton called, Ferrara & Company. Over the past 25 years he has worked on everything from Foster Grant sunglasses to Tide laundry detergent and has created award winning ads for Cascade, Black & Decker, Acuvue and Arm & Hammer.

Shooting on location in places like South Africa, Namibia, Spain, New York City and Los Angeles all contributed to his love of documenting and preserving where he was and what he could find. When he wasn’t on set being an art director he was on the back roads looking for abandoned buildings. He always found them.

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