Having added several artworks to my art collection recently I thought it was about time that I let you all know what I have been buying. With the photography market being undervalued I have been on the look out for photographs to invest in which resulted in the addition of a fantastic work by the American photographer Amy Stein to my ever growing collection. The photo is titled ‘Peri, route 80, Kentucky, 2005′ from the Stranded series which according to Stein “is a meditation on the tension and desolation found on the shoulders of America’s highways and interstates. My photos challenge the viewer to slow down and witness scenes of futility playing out in an uneasy and alien space. Within these photos we see the faces of the stranded, the evidence of lives broken down or lost on the side of the road. These moments occur in full view of hundreds of people speeding past, yet the images tell a solemn story of personal detachment and individual isolation from the broader society. The work functions as a statement on contemporary America and the tenuousness of our faith in technology, community, and traditional institutions of support”
I really like the reflective nature of this photo which records what may seem like an insignificant event to passers by but could in fact be the catalyst for a serious moment of self evaluation, reflection and life altering decisions for the people involved. It is not very often that one tends to think about the fact that even the most simple and mundane of events can have the most unexpected and severe of consequences. The girl’s pose is rather unusual which immediately sparks curiosity and speculation as to why she is where she is, how she got there and what she is thinking and feeling. The fact that the girl seems to be alone creates the feeling that she is so deep in thought that no-one else seems to exist and emphasises that this moment is all her own. Every time I look at this photo I seem to be able to come up with a different interpretation or idea about what is happening and why, which is what makes this photograph so engaging and valuable.
Amy Stein has emerged as one of the photographers to watch having been exhibited nationally and internationally, has won several awards and has work in the collections of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the West Collection in Pennsylvania. She has also been featured in publications such as Photo District News, ARTnews, Vanity Fair Italia, Money Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, he New York Times and American Photo Magazine who named her as one of the top 15 emerging photographers in the world.
Amy was raised in Washington, DC, and Karachi, Pakistan. She holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York.