Photos by Doug Rickard
courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery
“A New American Picture” depicts American street scenes, located using the internet platform Google Street View. Over a four-year period, Doug Rickard took advantage of Google’s massive image archive to virtually explore the roads of America looking for forgotten, economically devastated, and largely abandoned places. After locating and composing scenes of urban and rural decay, Rickard re-photographed the images on his computer screen with a tripod-mounted camera, freeing the image from its technological origin and re-presenting them on a new documentary plane.
The low-resolution images that Rickard favors have a dissolved, painterly effect, and are occasionally populated with figures who acknowledge the camera, but whose faces are blurred, masking their identity. The photographs are thus imbued with an added surrealism and anonymity, which reinforces the isolation of the subjects and emphasizes the effects of an increasingly stratified American social structure.