The Inner Landscapes of Common Men: Bryan Schutmaat

“Those old pilgrims believed stories in which the West was a promise, a far away place where decent people could escape the wreckage of the old world and start over. Come to me, the dream whispers, and you can have one more chance.”
– William Kittredge, Heaven on Earth

Lately , I’ve been coming across more and more photography that just stops me in my tracks. I can’t decide if there’s just more great work out there, or that I’m being much more conscious and deliberate in my ongoing search for great photographs to inspire me. Either way, the work of photographer Bryan Schutmaat is absolutely superb. The portraits in his latest series, called Grays the Mountain Sends are at once heartbreaking and mesmerizing. Shot on large format film, Schutmaat uses portraits, landscapes, and still lifes to create a series of photographs ​that “explore[s] the lives of working people ​residing in small mountain towns and mining communities in the American ​West.” Reminiscent of Eggleston, or perhaps Walker Evans, Grays the Mountain Sends is a beautiful series that captures the struggles facing so many families across a changing America. Be sure to visit Schutmaat’s site archive for older work, including his previous series, called Heartland, which, in some ways, sets the stage for Grays by exploring “the physical and social landscape of America’s small towns and vast rural expanses.”

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[via Lost at E Minor]