Julia Solis has my dream job. She explores and photographs forgotten, paint-chipped mental hospitals, ancient tunnels beneath the city streets, and the detritus left behind after institutions fall into disrepair and become obsolete. Basically, abandonment city — cue my sincere and hand-wringingly strong lust to join her on these journeys. She gains access to the kinds of places I only stare at from a distance, wishing I had the cojones to actually climb over a barb wire fence and risk stigmata to my delicate paws.
She’s done more incredible work than I could ever show in one blog post, but these photos of abandoned theaters — the series is aptly titled “Stages of Decay” — made me lose my breath. To imagine all of the dramatic enterprise hat once took place in those gilded, velvet lined amphitheaters, now hanging in tatters. The ghosts of former performances hang around, I’m sure, reliving their glory days.
For more of Julia’s work check out her website, Dark Passage, for a full portfolio of her travels. Her daily blog, Dark Passage Travelogue, explores the artistic artifacts found beneath the crumbling walls she scales. If you’re in New York, she frequently holds talks and sometimes accompanies the public on tours beneath the streets — but I may just be making this up. She’s rad.