Trenton Moore is an American born photographer currently based in Washington, DC and frequently working out of New York City. Trenton holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Florida Southern College. He was most recently an artist in residence at Laughing Horse Gallery in Taos, New Mexico and is a 2016 Luminous Endowment honoree. He’s currently working on his latest project, Becoming Italian, about gaining his Italian citizenship, and is actively seeking national and international galleries or institutions interested in showing his work. Today we share his series, Retracing America.
It was about this time last year that after getting Robert Frank’s well wishes, I hit the road around the United States to retrace his route from The Americans. It was a project about time and place, but also an exploration of a country I was born in but didn’t feel connected to and had hardly seen. I’ve rebelled from turning this project into a first person navel-gazing account of my journey around the country. It’s instead a look outward on the business interests of mostly dishonorable men and the social notions shared by a people under their governance. There are conversations about the America that used to be, and the America that is.
Many have viewed this project as an homage to Robert Frank, and while at face value I can’t disagree completely, I do think that homage is far too strong a word. I see it much more as a nod of the head and a “thanks for the roadmap,” both literally and thematically. In that sense, this project has led me to be even more fascinated by the way that other expressive media, like music and film, are able to freely sample from rich histories without commotion.
I encourage the viewer to question the lives of the photos’ characters, both seen and unseen. Every individual photo and sequence of photos is an anecdote, typically interconnected thematically or visually. Sometimes even I’ve lost the truth of a few of these photos, but part of the experience is the story that you, the viewer, are able to bring to it. We’ve all lived different thoughts, feelings, experiences, and memories, and how we read into a photograph is affected by who we are.
To view more of Trenton’s work, visit his website.