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keys to happiness

by David Petr
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  • the story


Photographer David Petr finds beauty in common objects. By dramatically increasing the size of the inanimate subjects of his photographs, he looks to change the context to communicate something personal with his audience. David deliberately seeks out objects that resonate with different audiences, including objects that were prevalent in the mid-twentieth century, like these typewriter and cash register keys, to evoke memories of a simpler time. "My favorite part of the process is discovering new objects to photograph. It's not uncommon for me to search through thousands of items to find just one object to bring to life."

Petr photographs the keys, and then retouches them on computer to bring out their color and texture. The image is then printed onto a specially coated aluminum sheet using infused dyes that show off the rich color and detail of the original image. The metal sheet is then "float mounted", using a half-inch of sturdy mounting foam, which gives the piece a sense of depth on your wall. Photographed in Florida; printed in California.

Exclusively at UncommonGoods.

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  • details
Item ID
Made from
aluminum, infused dye
11" L x 14" W
Scratch resistant surface is weatherproof and waterproof. Can be cleaned with any commercial glass cleaner.
Aluminum print has sharp corners.
Comes ready to hang.
  • the maker
David Petr

David Petr

David Petr began crafting exclusive, larger-than-life photographic interpretations of iconic objects of our collective past in 2008. Rusted, dented and scratched items rich with patina are common topics explored under David's lens. The steadily growing body of work began with Petr's determined search for captivating objects from antique stores, flea markets, junk shops, online, and across the country. Hand-picked with an almost obsessive eye for quality, his found objects are orchestrated under the camera, often with several shots to create one final image. Shadows and highlights are precisely controlled, resulting in an image with uncompromising clarity.

David looks to find beauty in common objects of a simpler time. By dramatically increasing the size of the objects he photographs, he looks to change the context of the subject matter. His edition sizes are quite uncommon among photographers, creating high demand for his large prints. All framed works are custom matted and framed to give the artwork a long and healthy life.

Recent collections feature collage pieces including souvenir matchbooks, bottle caps, hotel soaps, and foreign currency, painstakingly captured by photographing and color correcting each object individually. The end result is an image that is technically superior than any traditional photograph of this size.

Producing limited edition series of 20, 10 and even one-of-a-kind prints, Petr is always on the lookout for the next visual narrative. He seeks out objects that resonate with the viewer, including memories and emotional connections from mid-20th century. When not searching for a dilapidated pinball machine or vintage cocktail stirrer set, David resides in Florida with his wife and four kids.

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