1989: America's malls. The places where nothing — and everything — has changed. In 1989, Michael Galinsky, then a 20-year-old student, took a month to traverse the U.S. Everywhere he went, he documented the same place: the shopping mall. The results are now an archive of a vanished world, simultaneously familiar and foreign, trivial and full of meaning.
"The perishing of fabrics and the rotting of early rubber, due to chemical instabilities and damp conditions, create new and sinister, puzzling abnormalities. Time and repeated wear have caused a beautiful metamorphosis, never intended or imagined by the maker." Haunted Air: "A glimpse of how the old, weird America celebrated All-Hallows Eve."
"When I look for images, I look for something that makes you almost uncomfortable in your own skin—something that makes you observe more intently," Foster says. "That's when I know I have something that's more than just a snapshot." John Foster is a graphic design and communications professional by day, and joined by his wife as collectors of "vernacular photographs" by night. Their collected photographs have been featured at art galleries and museums, and John has worked with others to curate outsider art shows. If that wasn't enough, his collections extend beyond found photos, as previsusly featured on the blue (and as inspiration for another post).
Shelby Lee Adams has spent decades photographing the holler families of rural Kentucky and the mountain folk of Appalachia. More B&W images from the Edelman gallery. Interview With An Artist: Shelby Lee Adams (alternate B&W PDF version); Essays by Adams: All of Us and The Napier's Living Room, 1989; Interview with 92-year old Scotty Stidham.
Stateside, Wild Youth, Motor Life, Roberta's World, Memento, and Sidewalks. Six collections of found vernacular photographs from reservatory.net. More found photos at Phoundfotographs, Accidental Mysteries, and Other People's Pictures. In the same vein as the better known (and previously posted) Shorpy and Square America.
Hiking, biking, boating, fishing, shooting and more: "The Times of Our Lives." Wonderful scans of vintage photos of the 1950's and 1960's (uh, and 80's) from flickr user aroid. [via]
Perhaps you think you've had your fill of photographs of decaying architecture and abandoned buildings. If so, the rich color and play of light in Michael Eastman's beautiful body of work from Cuba, Europe, and the U.S. may change your mind. His site is flash - for non-flash folks, the Duane Reed Gallery has additional works, including his B&W portfolios on horses, landscapes, and succulents. (no relation to the Kodak family; via BB-Blog)
The stark, modal banjo and achingly poignant, weathered voice of the great Dock Boggs [previous] are the perfect aural accompaniment to a slideshow of William Gedney's [previous] powerfully intimate photographs: Kentucky, 1964. [more inside]
Lost America is a purdy website featuring night photography of ghost towns, urban exploration, decommissioned military facilities, airplane graveyards, and other roadside abandonments of the American west.
Arthur Grace has a distinguished career as a photojournalist who works in black and white. Although not limited to U.S. work, he excels in Americana. His portfolios are fun to surf - here's a sampling that I liked: window washer, the Hatt family of Maine, Cheer Squad, and Prisoner, Adelaide Jail. Oh, and whatever you do - don't miss the Show Dogs, heh. [more]
"I am at war with the obvious", photographer William Eggleston once said, explaining his attraction to a ceiling lightbulb engulfed in a shock of red or an old Gulf gasoline sign sprouting like a giant weed against a rural skyline. Attempting to understand that battle, filmmaker Michael Almereyda trailed the photographer in action and in repose over a period of five years. The resulting film is "William Eggleston in the Real World". More inside.,