By day, Patrick Devine slaves over designer macarons, tarts and cakes so intricately detailed they look like they were assembled by gnomes at La Patisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935). But in his free time, Devine makes art in a very different way -- he enters abandoned properties and snaps portraits of the things and places people left behind.
"Some people don't really appreciate the photos.... It's just something that I'm drawn to," he says. "It would be really strange to have someone say, 'Oh, I grew up in that place,' or, 'I used to work there.'"
From his day job:
Devine compiles his best shots on his Instagram account, which is where Daily RFT first noticed them. He subscribes to the urban explorer's code -- he was happy to share the photos but wouldn't tell us exactly where they were taken or how he got in.
"I'm pretty sure we are -- most of the time it's trespassing. We kind of joke that if we see a sign that says 'no trespassing,' it really means come on in," says Devine. "I've never like physically broken anything to get in anywhere. There's always a door or a window that might slide open. The really bad places literally just have a big hole in the side of the building. You can just walk in."
We asked Devine if he'd be willing to share his series of photos from an abandoned YMCA somewhere in the St. Louis area, and he graciously agreed. Take a look:
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