Mike Brodie spent years crisscrossing the U.S. documenting his experiences, now appreciated as one of the most impressive archives of American travel photography.
„Going off on an adventure across the country like Huck Finn is a very American thing to do,” says Mike Brodie, who did just that on a whim in 2003, aged 18.
“I have mixed feelings about the photographs being in an art book and on the walls of art galleries,” says Brodie, “and so do some of the kids I photographed when they come to the openings. You have a lot of worlds colliding right there. But most of them are cool with it, though, and happy that the photographs are being shown.”
Self-taught, he was given his first camera, a Polaroid SX-70, by a friend, but the images in the book were all shot on a Nikon F3 35mm camera.
Does he think, in retrospect, that he may have over-romanticised the tough itinerant life of his subjects? “Well, I reckon photography always does that to a degree,” he replies matter-of-factly. “But that life is romantic a lot of the time, at least in the spring and summer. So long as you like the outdoors life and you don’t mind getting dirty and not having a change of clothes for months, it’s pretty great.”
He has since given up photography and is now “trying to get a good solid career as a car mechanic”, having graduated from the Nashville Auto Diesel College. (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/mar/30/mike-brodie-juvenile-train-rider-photos-interview)
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