Witnesses of the past
What would they tell us if they could, the men and women who lived a hundred years ago or more? Old negatives are a testament to a time very different from ours. And black-and-white photos have a special aura. They draw us in, and the best of them are capable of transporting us through time, letting us experience the struggles and victories, the hopes and feelings of our forefathers.
The images on eyeeye.me have been collected through years of discoveries and purchases around the world. Our main focus is the scene or subject of each photograph. In some cases, the name of the photographer is known. Others are completely anonymous. Some were taken by professional photographers, while others were snapped by enthusiastic amateurs.
In the old days, photography was an exclusive art form, reserved for the chosen few. It’s plain to see that the subjects of the first photographs were families wearing their Sunday best. As such, they have a direct link to today’s selfie culture, in which identity and self-presentation are crucial. Later, images of everyday life and non-posing portraits come in.
The images are all very different, and yet, somehow, they correspond to each other. At eyeeye.me, we have chosen to group images in series according to various themes. But you’re free to mix and match any which way you please.
Each image is reproduced in a maximum of 150 to 400 copies. With only 50 copies left, the price goes up. That way, the most popular images cost more, while those who dare to go off the beaten path are rewarded.
New series will be published, on average, once a month. Sign up for our newsletter if you want to be notified when they go online.
All images are limited edition. Each image carries a unique print-run number, as well as the maximum total number of copies. The philosophy behind this numbering system is that, when buying from eyeeye.me, you are highly unlikely to come across the same image anywhere else. In that sense, buying images form eyeeye.me is a lot like buying art prints. Since all our prints are limited edition, and numbered, should you decide to sell yours years from now, they will still have value.
The first negatives, on glass plates, as well as later negatives made from celluloid, are susceptible to external influences, and will eventually perish. Light, air, humidity, and heat are the enemies of photographic negatives. Even museums and archives struggle to store negatives under proper conditions.
This means that historic images risk being lost. Quite simply, they are not going to be around forever.
Thus, perishability is a recurring theme of the eyeeye.me series. Several of the negatives feature damages. Often, these damages result in beautiful patterns, adding an artistic touch to the original photographic subject. Occasionally, only a few details of the original photo remain, and the aesthetics exist in the perishability itself.
When buying photographic prints from eyeeye.me you help preserve history. By hanging these unique prints on your walls, you connect yourself to moments of the past. The visible signs of their perishability is the equivalent of static and noise threatening to cut off a phone call.
At eyeeye.me we see it as our responsibility to preserve the important historic sources that these photographic are. When you buy from us, part of the profits are spent on digitizing and safely storing old negatives.