Photographer Stephen Shore is interested in ordinary scenes of everyday life. In the early 1970s, he was one of the first fine art photographers to work almost exclusively in colour when fine art photography was still narrowly defined as black-and-white, hand-printed images.
His subjects are cast with a strange significance by the artist, and embody his belief that the photographic medium is in essence a record of being observant. “I discovered that this camera was the technical means in photography of communicating what the world looks like in a state of heightened awareness,” Shore reflected.
In his 1971 series “American Surfaces,” Shore drove across the country obsessively snapping colour photos of motel rooms, fast food meals, parking lots, and other seemingly unmemorable objects and experiences. During the following decade, he road-tripped through America and Canada, producing a defining series of work which culminated in 1982 with his book, Uncommon Places.
These series evoke the works of Walker Evans and Robert Frank and the rigorous, almost obsessed documentation of the ordinary undertaken by such photographers as Bernd and Hilla Becher and Martin Parr.