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There is hardly anything more entertaining than unintentionally funny elderly who do not mince their words. Unfortunately, not every family is blessed with someone like this, but thanks to photographer Michelle Maguire we now all have access to get a little taste of what it could be like if we would. The book Salami Dreamin’ features hand-printed portraits of her blunt, amusing and completely unimpressed Italian American great-aunt Doll. Accompanied with colourful anecdotes, written by Michelle’s husband Aaron Beck, it is assured that the book will create an “Aunt Doll” fanbase — let’s see if we can impress the old lady by that.

Maguire always documented family from behind her lens. After her father passed away, she started to spend more time at Aunt Doll, the best medicine to give her grief a place. It was during this time that she created an amazing collection of material that paints a perfect picture of the 84-year old. Aunt Doll cusses, loves cured meats, worships the sun from her concrete-slab patio, frets about nothing except her beloved Italian bread causing her to pack on the pounds — and most importantly: she isn’t trying to be funny, she just is.

Eye-popping, hand-printed portraits in the 50-edition artist’s book are created with use of letterpress, lithography and silkscreen techniques. By eliminating the surrounding, every image centers Doll with a visible “I don’t care” attitude, an on-point fashion style and great love for food that shows the core of Aunt Doll’s story: “enjoy every chicken wing while you holler at the Cleveland Browns on your gigantic analog TV, because we aren’t here forever.”

Sanne Nooitgedagt

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