Chris Bentley is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. His work has been exhibited in places such as the Photographic Resource Center, hpgrp GALLERY NEW YORK and the Griffin Museum of Photography. His photographs have been featured in the books, “The Exposure Project: Book 4” and “My Own Wilderness,” as well as the publications 3200K Quarterly and Incandescent Magazine. In addition, his images have been featured extensively online, including Flakphoto, Humble Arts, ARTmostfierce, and Unless You Will. His films have been featured in numerous festivals throughout the country, including festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and San Francisco.
Today we feature his series titled, Our Desert.
The desert area of the United States had been thinly populated and was one of the last areas of the country to be fully settled. Now, it’s experiencing a large amount of immigration from other areas of the country. As such, it’s representative of how the United States is changing, and it provides clues for what this country might look like in the near future.
I view this area of the United States as almost another planet. An arid and generally waterless place that man has somehow managed to colonize through massive government expenditure and technological intervention. A place once found so remote that it was decided that nuclear weapons testing should occur here.
It’s a place where a person can attempt to fulfill their dreams, the emptiness of the land providing a blank template. Those dreams can be mundane or grandiose. It’s a place for a fresh start, the center of a new religion, a gambling mecca, a dwelling for retirees. And to some, it’s a lost Eden. It’s where the American Dream can be found with all of its complications, promises, and little victories.
To view more of Chris’s work please visit his website.