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Gorgeous modern American photographs.... but with an old-school Ashcan/Hopper-esque vibe.
on September 3, 2013
Doug Rickard is a young photographer who has done something that perhaps any of us could've done... yet he ingeniously did it first and most compellingly and beautifully: He lifted some street-level photographs from GOOGLE EARTH of various neighborhoods within the USA... but specifically sought out some of America's most poverty-stricken urban and rural neighborhoods. Striking, compelling, astonishing, heartbreaking images of America's humblest people, in their native environment... seemingly getting by on almost nothing at all, yet not appearing at all sorry for themselves. In this muckraking mood, Rickard's images owe much to the so-called "Ashcan School" of the early 1900's, others seem Hopper-esque, others look like oneiric riffs on Norman Rockwell, and most of them have a clear, yet somehow dreamlike appearance of, say, the 1970's canvases of the Photorealists. Rickard has a superb, unflinching eye, and he has found a novel, striking, unforgettable way of showing it. Highly recommended. While starkly beautiful, these are not "feel-good" pictures by any stretch: they will probably give you the feeling they give me: a gnawing, hollow, ghostly--- sometimes even devastating-- feeling about the vast inequities in American society.