Monday, November 17, 2008
Photographs Do Not Bend presents: Bill Owens: New Suburbia
In the 1970's Owens photographed in black and white, but his current essay is in color.
New Suburbia is Bill Owens' most recent document of how we live. His famous book and photography series, Suburbia, was released in the early 1970's. Almost 4 decades later Bill Owens set out to photograph the peculiar aspects of our common lives.
In the 1970's Owens photographed in black and white, which was the standard. Artists including Frank Gohlke, Garry Winogrand, Robert Adams also photographed our environment, focusing on the banal landscape of new housing developments and other aspects of America's burgeoning, upwardly mobile population.
Owens' current photo essay is in color. Images include suburban homes, somewhat larger than the ticky-tacky houses of the 1970's. Shopping Malls, monuments, food, billboards, and retail establishments together make a statement about the bizarre and colorful world we live.
Bill Owens did not journey through the country in the past few years without a plan. As he did in the 1970's, he listed all the places and subjects that he thought would be iconic to Suburban life in the 21st Century. The Suburbia document becomes a time capsule, while giving us a chance to look at ourselves now.
Two Bill Owens books have been released this year: Working - His 1970's document of people at work, and Bill Owens - A retrospective monograph that includes New Suburbia photographs.
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