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Queen of Heaven (10 Photos)

Queen of Heaven (10 Photos)


All Photos © John Faier

John Faier first stepped into a community mausoleum while visiting a Catholic cemetery on the west side of Chicago. Queen of Heaven Indoor Mausoleum was built between 1956 and 1964 by the Archdiocese of Chicago and contains 30,000 individual crypts. Today it is roughly 75% full. Surrounded by the pervasive scent of embalming fluid, Faier found the vast complex simultaneously beautiful and grotesque–and a time-capsule for all things midcentury. He subsequently embarked on a four-year project photographing similar mausoleums from the same time period. Faier used a large-format camera with a digital back, composing the images entirely in-camera.  “I am drawn to subjects in our contemporary society that are beautiful, absurd, and dark. And, although I am extremely interested in hyper-realism as a photographic effect, I want my photographs to place our various notions of what is artificial or natural into question. I am interested in exploring themes relating to the surreal and kitsch and typically use formal  compositional techniques to place the viewer at a distance from the subject. ‘Queen of Heaven’ allows us to contemplate our own struggles, loneliness, and mortality as filtered through the lens of the camera.” Faier’s series is on view at the Blue Sky Gallery until April 29, 2012.  – courtesy John Faier

































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  1. Been shooting in the “neighborhood” over on the other side of the street in Mount Carmel for years. Your imagery is stunning, capturing the feel of the 50’s. Looking at your pics I can actually smell the place.

  2. I have been photographing this site since 2007 inside and out and I have captured some very interesting anomalies

    Google: Barek Halfhand Queen Of Heaven

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