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Art Listings: Critic's Choice by Lindsay Westbrook
San Francisco Bay Guardian, June 19, 2002

Like firebugs have their matches, Jim Haynes has his brew of oxidizing chemicals: aluminum chloride, cupric sulfate, rust, and water. This solution will wear away not only metal but also paper, and Haynes loves those red rust stains and the way they creep along, eating away at whatever he decides to drip it on. Haynes has even created audio recordings by amplifying the sound of microphones being corroded. The 50 works featured at Aquarius are rusted photographs individually framed and arranged into themed groups. Unlike most artists, who use acid-free paper and permanent inks to create works that will resist the degrading effects of time and the environment, Haynes goes out of his way to assure potential buyers that the rust on these photos will continue to spread slowly across the silver emulsion on the paper. Even behind the glass, they are dynamic and seemingly alive; like humans, they will look slightly different and completely unique on each successive day of their existence. Haynes anthropomorphizes the rusted photographs to such an extent that he even compares the red marks of corrosion to streaks of dried blood. We can read them, he writes in his artist's statement, like a forensic specialist reads a crime scene. They tell a sordid story, and it's up to us to look closely for clues and discern some kind of order in the seemingly random dispersion of oxidized splotches. The rust is so advanced in many cases that it's hard to tell what the original photograph looked like. The few still-visible images show grainy, monochromatic landscapes or pieces of industrial architecture silhouetted against a gray sky, and their stark, noirish mood complements Haynes' concept of the finished works as condensed crime stories.