New body of work in gallery, "______ America" / by Chris Schneider

For no particular reason, I opened a folder with some of my 35mm negatives I shot back in the early 90's.  Not only did it bring me back to a time when I could take extended road trips, meandering about in no particular direction but heading toward whatever caught my eye, I was also struck by the quality of images I had never printed before.  Page after page I found unmined gold, work that surely deserved to be made.  

This set me on a quest to go through all my negatives, from the first ones I made while in college in 1993 until 2012 (because, you see, and I am chagrined to admit this, I have not developed a roll of film recently).  Twenty years of imagery, exploration, daring, and long-ago folk in my life.  It quickly became clear that my taste in photography has changed.  I'd like to think it has matured with greater sophistication in the understanding of what is "good".  

I have always respected the work in Robert Franks' "The Americans", Bill Owens' "Suburbia", and the general work of Walker Evans.  All of them revealed something complex and engaging about the United States, uniquely capturing the state of the nation in their time.  In revisiting my film work, I realized it was also creating a portrait of America, but in my time.  As Owens states, "To me, nothing seemed familiar, and yet, everything was very, very familiar."

This body of work will gradually grow as I continue to mine my negatives.  Enjoy.