Grays the Mountain Sends
In 2010, I discovered the poem Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg, by Richard Hugo. A text narrated by a man who came from an old mining town. When you read it, it seems as though the author blames the present for not living up to the past. There a disparity between what used to be and what is now. I studied the remains of the Manifest Destiny, and of the myth of the American West.
I’m really compelled by that type of art that can take you somewhere else, that is a break from what you encounter in your daily life. I don’t want to make a project about the city, I want to make a project about places that are far away and unfamiliar and not what I see every day.
America is such a vast and complex place, and what I present in photographs is a very fragmented and projected view of this, so I wouldn’t want to claim that I’m defining any kind of American character. I’m really into Italian neo-realist movies, and those were loaded with social and political comments in the postwar era. But it’s always just the plight of the main character that appeals to me. I’m concerned with that guy, what he’s going through, and I’m crying for him. I guess I was just more interested in that.
Inspired by the poetry of Richard Hugo, ‘Grays the Mountain Sends’ is a project that explores the lives of working people residing in small mountain towns and mining communities in the American West.