Accidental Art

A billion photographs are snapped each week—blogged, harbored in albums or, just as inevitably, consigned to refuse bins at the sight of an unflattering haircut. It is these rustling forests of lost and discarded images that concern photo historian Michel Frizot and photography professor Cédric de Veigy. Their Photo Trouvée, recently published by Phaidon, brings together 285 anonymous, amateur snapshots, salvaged from flea markets and antique shops over the past 20 years. Behind every one is a delicious enigma: Who captured it, and why?

There is, of course, little way of answering this, but then the...

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