Doug Rickard is a modern-day photographer in the truest sense. His color photography series, A New American Picture is a synthesis of the most telling components of our era. His lens siphons the notion of technology as a portal to experience and the obsession with immediacy and pours it over the capsizing American dream.
A New American Picture has been collected in book form and is available now in its premiere trade edition through the Aperture Foundation.
The origin of the series began with the artist ‘s total immersion into the cyber realm of Google’s Street View. Uniting his loves of photography, sociology and history, he began to use the feature to “travel” the country’s most forgotten streets and neglected neighborhoods. For two years, he journeyed virtually through the Bronx, Watts, New Orleans, Camden and to all the shipwreck remains of in-between towns ravaged by economic downturn. With obsessive zeal, Rickard began unearthing affecting images through the adjustment of Street View’s surveillance camera-esque, high-centered point of view. He then re-photographed the “new” images, with careful detail to maintaining the locations and its’ inhabitants dignity and inherent poetry. Rickard stockpiled and amassed nearly 15,000 of these images, using a hand-selected 80 for this edition of the book. As the Yossi Milo Gallery describes, he “extracts [the images] from their own technological anchor and mov[es] them into a new documentary space.” The result is a devastated beauty, an almost painterly rendering of an “apocalyptic-like brokenness”. The very aspect most uncomfortable about this work – the manipulation – is precisely why it is so compelling and necessary. The methodology informs the work with the current pervading thought that technology is a cure-all. With the world’s hi-tech offerings as his palette, Doug Rickard’s approach renders a true portrait of the new American alienation and despondency. The images will stand as postcards to the future, encapsulating who we were as a nation today.
Join the artist for a discussion of A New American Picture and book signing on Tuesday evening, October 16th at the Aperture Gallery and Bookstore in Chelsea, NYC.
Book Launch: Doug Rickard
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Aperture Gallery and Bookstore 547 West 27th Street New York, NY