Suburban Landscapes: Beauty in Desolation
Project info

In my latest work, “Beauty in Desolation: Suburban Landscapes,” I explore the idea that the American Dream has gone wrong in the 21st century. The expansion of the suburbs that we have experienced as a nation since the 1950’s seems to have reached its limit. From what I am seeing in the different parts of the country where I photograph, the towns of upscale suburbs, just like the inner city of larger metropolitan areas like Detroit, are imploding. Storefronts are vacant with nothing to replace them even in neighborhoods and towns that used to thrive. This deterioration may have started with the Great Recession of 2008 but it has continued, unabated, since then.
What are the implications of this? We are at a pivotal moment when thousands of neighborhoods and businesses across the country will need to adapt in order to accommodate this new reality. Will we leave these buildings to rot, thus affecting everyone else who lives around them? Or will we evolve, rethinking use, to create a new, vital environment?
I started with a more traditional approach to photographing the man-altered landscape. But lately I have been using diptychs to convey my feelings about the subject in a more abstract, intuitive way. I like the way two images relate to each other on many levels: subject matter obviously; the formal elements of form and color as well as being able to riff one off of the other in an intuitive way that is subconscious.