The United States is a complex country, made out of contrasts, bright and dark. In such a big nation, with so many inhabitants, where cities, towns and cultures merge and coexist, sometimes we forget that the USA is much, much more than just New York and L.A., Las Vegas and Chicago. Our narrow vision is constantly reinforced by movies and internet, making our idea about America a limited one, tightly roped with the conception of capitalism. Fortunately, we have selected, carefully, a list of photographers that go further to show us the most secluded, hidden and rural face of the United States, because beyond the shallow surface and the crowded tours, there’s a whole reality to discover.
1.- Claire Martin
Claire Martin’s obsession to capture the hidden Face of America rises to a superior level where she delves deeply in her subjects. Portraits of anonymous people isolated and veiled from the majority. Claire’s mission is to broadcast their faces, but beyond that, capture their essence, and depict the problematic behind drug addiction, social inequity, prostitution and even mental conditions, all with the purpose of shedding some light where there has been only darkness. This social educator decided that the best weapon to do this is a camera, a tool perfect to denounce and highlight realities that go unnoticed.
2.- Sergio de Arrola aka “Rolling Habits”
A detailed photographer that captures everything that goes unperceived. Rolling Habits portrays the American culture in a very peculiar way, through details. He could be considered a documentalist photographer, since in his snaps we can find shopping carts, the quintessential McDonalds in the middle of nowhere and the typical bar along Route 66, its tables just left with the costumers, dishes with food still on top; a classic image of the mythical highway he once ventured to cross riding his bicycle. Thanks to his camera we can discover the true essence of the United States seen through the eyes of an immigrant.
3.- Mike Brodie
This globetrotter has focused his work on depicting his personal experience of traveling across the United States with nothing else than what he’s wearing. Sleeping under a bridge, traveling on the back of a pick-up truck or as a stowaway on a train, Mike captures everything from the inside, an insider. Moving from place to place with a little bit of fortune, he shows us everything he sees across his way; forsaken people and forsaken places. Like this, he manages to capture the heart and decadence of deep America, a place where many barely survive. His photographs give an unconventional portrait of a country that many times seems abandoned and wild.
4.- Michael Mccraw
We might have an idea of how rural America looks like, but there are things we cannot learn from movies, and Michael McCraw comes in to fill that void. This photographer captures the rural lifestyle of the United States, tightly connected to religion, poverty; a day-to-day representation of the existence of these agricultural villages. Either focusing on details or the big picture, McCraw depicts the most pure essence of these secluded lifestyles in America.
5.- Victoria Crayhon
Victoria Crayhon’s obsession is focused on going after the most mythical elements of America’s leisure. Advertisement billboards and the classic movie theater entrances pose in front of her lens gracefully as she emphasizes on the particular culture of this country. Victoria takes advantage of her subjects and manages to convey a message through them, offering us an artistic sample that lead us to ponder on what America’s culture is like.
6.- Mark Maggiori
Probably, the best way to represent a country is through portraits, portraits that depict a lifestyle. At least, that’s how Maggiori does it, using his analog camera. This photographer prepares the compositions of his works thoroughly, shooting in emblematic scenarios; photographs of the classic highway motel, in the middle of the desert or in god-forsaken towns. In them we can find patriotic characters, armed, covered with an American flag or simply wearing jeans, call girls, hit men, everything works to depict the rawness present in places many ignore.
7.- Lisa Sorgini
Lisa’s nostalgic tinge upon her photographs manages to convey the most secluded American culture in a journey across time. With her analog style, her works depict a pilgrimage through the most mundane and random places; images far from common but that are able to talk to all of us. A road trip amongst neon lights and fast food.
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