John Sanderson, born 1983 in New York City, is a self taught photographer. Drawn to the topographically broad subject matter of the United States, his images establish a counterpoint between the documentary and poetic. Exploring the landscape in order to illustrate historic and contemporary motifs, Sanderson reveals a condensed history of the rapidly suburbanized and deindustrialized social geography unique to the United States. Drawn to the the unexpected irony, humor, and ephemeral historical qualities that are distinctly American, his work is a synthesis of people and places, rich in their ability to evince collective values and shared history. In 2013, Sanderson was a recipient of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s docent scholarship program. Sanderson’s Railroad Landscapes are currently the subject of a solo exhibition at the New York Transit Museum through 2015. Today we share John’s series American Traditions.
“Picturing America is to unfurl a tapestry of exceptionalism — not the deifying “City upon the Hill” exceptionalism, but a genuine, vestigial kind. As highways began replacing railroad lines in the 1950s, a restructuring of physical and social space began, suburbs rose and cities suffered. What remains is an illustrative tracery, rich in its ability to evince collective values and shared history. I set out to form a counterpoint between two picture types. The first is a document of place, a description of subject interpreted through weather and light. The second are environmental portraits, where a connection between subject and environment render an internal dialogue. I strive for a balance between my own emotional attachment to an image and its relation to America’s story.”
To view more of John’s work please visit his website.