Forty-Eight States

Forty Eight States is the culmination of decades of railroad travel through all forty eight states in the continental U.S.

The road trip is my defining passion and an iconic rite for many Americans. I think my photographs capture a timeless America — one that is no longer there as it was in the Fifties, yet remains through the linkage of memory, movies and photographs.

The images are both specific and conceptual: Each image does not represent a different state, but rather serves as a metaphor. For me, a road trip is romantic, and filled with endless possibilities, missed opportunities, fleeting intimacies, and reflections on a life.

I think in Forty Eight States the American landscape is seen well vertically and framed, not in the more traditional sweeping horizontal (i.e. landscape!) mode. Perhaps they can be seen as photographic updates of the Hudson River School, or paintings by Frederick Church and Thomas Cole. They evoke a dreamy, romantic yearning for the land and what it means to be an American in the landscape, sometimes part of and sometimes estranged from the places we hold in our memories.

—  Candace Plummer Gaudiani