Extraordinary images of ordinary community places
Posted February 16, 2011 at 1:32PM
My friend Chuck Wolfe is an exceptionally gifted observer and documentarian of places urban and near-urban. Amazingly, the striking images above came not from Chuck’s camera but from Google Earth’s Street View feature, cropped and photo-edited by Chuck. I’m not sure where one of them is from, but I believe the other two are from communities in Japan and Brazil, both among the places he “visited” Sunday morning on his computer.
Chuck was inspired by the amazing work of Doug Rickard in his recent book A New American Picture and excerpted on his own website. Rickard also captures images from Google Earth (samples below, larger formats on the website). He has a fondness for spare images of American cities that say more about what’s missing than about what’s there.
Reviewer “Mr. Whiskets” had this to say on the blog SB4/Photography and Books:
“The places he has chosen to "google" were often spots Rickard has physically traveled to at one time or another and then when back at home, looked for that same place on street views. Most often he is drawn to the outskirts of cities where the fabric of society is being tested by poverty and run down infrastructure. A majority of the citizens caught in his frames are black, the homes bring to mind the bleakness of [Walker] Evans's descriptions of depression era houses - an appropriate concentration on the part of Rickard considering the recent economic blight in America.”
Rickard has an impressive catalogue of works, which are listed here. His work, and Chuck’s, give us perspective on our own communities and aspirations.
Move your cursor over the images for credit information.