I am driven by my curiosity, sense of adventure and desire to explore unknown corners of the world. I was a traveler long before I was a photographer. Adventuring through the world has been a lifelong personal journey of soul-searching and self-discovery. Recording what I see has given me an increased empathy and connection to the world, as well as the people around me. My interest in photography grew out of my wish to record what I witnessed during my journeys to different cultures. That wish motivated me to document people, whether on a grandiose trip, or in the mundane of our everyday lives.
The American Road Trip sits on the edge of the fence between being an extravagant vacation, and an everyday event, involving travelling to a location with the people you love. It has long been part of the mythical culture of the United States of America, making appearance in countless Hollywood movies and TV Shows. Having grown up my whole life outside of the U.S., this project consists in capturing a glimpse of my experience with the American Road Trip in exploring themes such as adventure, youth, and carefreeness. Shot during the Fall Break of 2018, when my friends and I were road-tripping from Chicago, Illinois to Long Beach Island, New Jersey, the following body of work is made up of photographs of my friends during that period. These are some of the moments that make up what we call “life”, and they are ingrained in my memory forever.
After months of preparation, “install-day” was finally here: it was time to start setting up the whole show with the allotted 2 days of open studio space to do so.
Painting shelves, hammering nails, drilling screws… everything had to be thought of beforehand, with enough flexibility and time management to improve the show on-the-go. Looking at this installation not only through a photographic lens, but also a sculptural one, happened to be one of the most valuable insights I could get from my advisors. This helped me see the show as a whole working piece, and came in extremely handy when making final decisions as to what would finally make it within the gallery space; after all, my senior show was a thesis on story-telling – my story of our road trip to New Jersey – and in crafting a good story, a story-teller must not only know what to add, but also what to take out.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” – Anaïs Nin
“We do not take a trip; a trip takes us” – John Steinbeck
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Browne Jr
So I hope you enjoy the journey that you are about to embark on. My hope is you will leave wanting to travel, and seek for yourself. Are you in search of some treasure? Maybe a lost love? Or maybe, you just want to see that one place through your own set of eyes. Any reason is a valid one in my book, as long as the reason transforms into action. Plane, boat, bike, or car… Just go, and follow your road.