DocumentaryPhotoEssays Online

The Western Lands, photo essay by Justin Clifford Rhody

Joshua Tree, California - 2014
Meteor City, Arizona – 2013
The Western Lands, photo essay by Justin Clifford Rhody

[T]he Western Lands is an ongoing photo series that is based in the Southwest United States. Love and desperation, natural resource crisis, the American landscape and ancient Egyptian theories of the afterlife are explored in an abstracted, non-linear form of narrative that evokes literary allusions and codified meaning. (Justin Clifford Rhody)

Q&A with Justin Clifford Rhody

Photography is…
Photography is a medium that pulls the user deeper into the world around them and explores notions of “otherness” while navigating personal experience and perception. It’s an abstract medium in that it produces two-dimensional fragments of (so called) reality which often refuse to explain themselves or the intentions of the photographer. Left to their own devices, these abstract fragments display a set of information without a narrative context or overt definition of meaning. A creation made in and of time, photographs are often elusive and mysterious – leaving the viewer a series of dots to connect and four borders to mentally project beyond.

Photography and writing…
Photography and writing are of course common bedfellows but most often their relationship, which seems that of mutual exchange, ultimately ends up being parasitic in nature. Through attempts to either illustrate the text or explain the image the major strengths of each medium becomes stripped down to the function of simple utility. Clawing at the clouds while attempting to romance the center of the Earth.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
My parents have certainly made the largest impression on my overall psyche; influencing the mental point of pivot that I enter into socio-economic scenarios as well as personal relations. Photographically however, discovering early on the works of Stephen Shore, Saul Leiter and William Eggleston felt like an aesthetic kinship and a confirmation of sorts.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m that guy of indiscernible age and discreet dress waiting to cross the street.

Reno, Nevada – 2014
El Rito, New Mexico – 2012
Oakland, California – 2014
San Francisco, California – 2012
Oakland, California – 2014
Southern California – 2014
Northern Arizona – 2012
Meteor City, Arizona – 2013
San Francisco, California – 2012
Joshua Tree, California – 2014
Southern California – 2013
the authorPRIVATE
PRIVATE magazine, an international magazine of photographs, an independent and itinerant publication.