amy stein

‘Stranded': Photographs of Car Breakdowns as Metaphors for America

Amy Stein is one of the most consistently interesting photographers working today — her series Domesticated is an all-time Flavorwire favorite, and her work is constantly both conceptually fascinating and technically impressive. The New York-based photographer’s follow-up to Domesticated, entitled Stranded, found her examining the idea that, beginning with the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, America’s faith has been shaken in the ability of its traditional support structures to deal with challenges to collective security and quality of life. Stein explores this through that most resonant symbol of American potency, the car, photographing roadside breakdowns: “The car serves as both figurate symbol of American destiny and a literal representation of the personal breakdowns on the road to that promise.” There’s more of Stein’s work at her website (including a Google map of where she took all the photos for this series). … Read More

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Photos of Uneasy Meetings Between Man and Nature

New York City-based photographer Amy Stein creates “modern dioramas of our new natural history.” Her Domesticated series, which we first spotted on Faith is Torment, is set in the small Pennsylvania town of Matamoras. The area borders a scenic state forest. Each image is “constructed based on real stories from local newspapers and oral histories of intentional and random interactions between humans and animals.” The works show an uneasy meeting between man and nature, and explore humanity’s relationship with the “wild’ — the ways we attempt to dominate, domesticate, and connect with it. It’s a never-ending fascination that man has engaged for centuries, and nature has endured. Stein’s eco-tableaux powerfully confronts us with that anxiety and its strange beauty. See more of Domesticated in our gallery below. You can purchase a monograph of the work, which won the Best Book award at the 2008 New York Photo Festival, over here. Visit the artist’s photographs in person when Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination opens at the Glenbow Art Museum next year. … Read More

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Trend Watch: Landscapes and Beasts, Oh My!

Taking a stroll through the clusterfuck of Chelsea gallery openings last night, we noticed a major theme developing in contemporary photography. Building on the archetypal notion of man vs. nature, photographers are adding and subtracting creatures into the equation, resulting in man vs. man, man vs. beast, and nature vs. nature. Still with us? Photo evidence after the… Read More

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