On the surface, the National Discount Store is a portrait of New Jersey businessman Wilbur Wall, proprietor of the titular retail establishment. Located at the corner of Newark and Barrow in Jersey City, the National Discount Store is an eclectic enterprise serving customers with an anything-and-everything ethos - all they could want and likely what they didn’t yet know they wanted. The shabby interior belies the scale and value behind Wall’s entrepreneurial spirit. An encyclopedic inventory assembled seemingly by happenstance, the goods on offer include everything from small electronics to toiletries, drug paraphernalia, and toys.
Wall stands behind his counter in a bold image of neighborhood entrepreneurialism expressed largely as much as it is an image of small-time American economics. This rendering of contemporary capitalism invites the viewer into something both charming and imperfect in its material reality. Printed onto a magnetic surface, the photograph is staged with empty shelves and cabinets leaving a blank tableau for viewers to engage with Wall’s stock. Meticulously photographed and printed as magnetic objects, Wall’s shop inventory becomes an interactive index of his world. The scene is a tableau where the viewer can engage with Wall’s world, playing with the physical nature of his stock and entrepreneurial spirit - getting their hands on a relic of American consumerism.