Three years ago I came across Anthony Gerace‘s incredible chromatic collages and so I have returned but this time to show you his photographs from ‘Some Cities and Mountains’, pictures that are both serene, melancholic and imbued with the same aesthetic as his artwork; a style that has a wonderful compositional quality with a focus on rich colours and clean, precise lines.
The subject of these pictures is a familiar one. We have seen it before. The American road trip; the desert, the hard unforgiving light of the sun, the empty streets of small dusty sleepy towns and the grandeur of a primal landscape. And yet through Gerace’s lens we see the beauty in the dilapidated buildings, the broken signs, the small motels, the emptiness that is all pervasive in these remote parts of America. Places that were once booming but are now suffering under the yolk of globalisation and peoples insatiable need to find a better material life.
There is a beauty on the periphery of this desolate country, the absence of people serving to re-iterate our vulnerability in the face of the elements, in a world in which man is subservient to the laws of nature. For here there is no hiding from the desert sun or the encroaching sands, rather it must be faced, the residents of these small towns embattled and entrenched against the winds of time. It is a testament to Gerace’s talent that he’s able to give us a modernist image of his journey; clean simple lines, bright solid colours, his photographs carefully constructed to bring a architectural structure to places that are falling apart. In an interview with Its Nice That he had this to say about the series:
The whole point of the project was to immerse myself in the kind of collapsed and strange places that exist at the peripheries of America, places that were hard to get to and were weird and broken and that I found myself becoming really fond of over the weeks of constant movement.
I’d been living in London for two years and wanted to experience things that I hadn’t experienced before, and to capture those experiences and try to make something out of them, and to follow in the road trip tradition of all of the photographers who got me into taking pictures in the first place. A lot of what made me want to take pictures in the first place were the trips [my father] and my mother would take, and so the work had the added benefit of connecting me to them when they were my age, doing these things.