If This is True... 8.000 miles on the motorcycle in the USA
“I do not want to go back – no launch parties or openings anymore. Wearing the same pair of jeans every day, feeling the sun on my skin and deciding whether I will stay or go on the day itself. I also love that everything I own here fits into two saddle bags and a backpack.”
Robin de Puy’s thoughts, jotted down in her journal on 4 June 2015. At that point, she had been in America for four weeks and covered 4908 km on her Harley-Davidson. Another six weeks and 5092 km to go. De Puy is a young portrait photographer in great demand. In 2014, she decided to go on the trip as a way of escaping the pressure of public expectations. Her success has a downside: the constant flood of commissions leaves her almost no time for autonomous work and she feared losing her sense of creative freedom. Her American road trip gave her the chance to go back to deciding for herself what to photograph.
De Puy set off across America in May 2015. Her most vital equipment was in her saddlebags: a couple of lamps, two cameras and a lighting umbrella. She followed no set route but toured the country looking for distinctive faces to photograph – people of all ages and both sexes whom she just happened to meet on her travels. She specifically did not want to record social contrasts or the antithesis between urban America and the country’s endless empty spaces. Robin de Puy’s work adds a new dimension to the classic genre of the American Photographic Road Trip, most famously practised by people like Robert Frank, Jacob Holdt and Alec Soth: her sympathetic portraits could have been taken anywhere between Washington, Warsaw and Vladivostok.