Hunter Barnes & Todd DiCiurcio: 'Americana No Depression'
Documentary photographer Hunter Barnes and fellow artist Todd DiCiurcio have teamed up in a unique way to shed light on some of the most closed and marginalized cross-sections of American society. Barnes visited these overlooked parts of America and DiCiurcio drew and painted his reactions to the photos. The works are now being presented side by side at Melet Mercantile. We got the chance to talk to Barnes about Americana No Depression and here’s what we found out:
Can you tell us a little bit about the exhibition?
Basically it’s photographs that I’ve been taking over the past 10-12 years. It’s a little bit of low-rider car clubs, motorcycle clubs, the Ni Mii Puu Tribe and some of California-state prison inmates. And it was these black and white photographs that the painter I was working with, Todd DiCiurcio, reacted to. So it’s pretty much his natural reactions to the images he saw.
What inspired you to take these photos?
Most of the photographs in this work were shot years ago and actually shown at Milk about 8 years ago. I felt that a lot of these places weren’t usually seen, and if they were seen they were usually shown in a false reality. It’s just places I was granted access to so I could show them.
How did you like working with Todd?
Oh, it was super easy. The guy’s really laidback, I mean he’s really thorough, and he gets all of it done. He’s just one of those people, we have no problem [working] together; it’s kind of like an unsaid language.
Can you tell us how you got started in photography?
I started when I was 15. My dad had taken a trip to Mexico and he got me this Pentax K 1000 camera. I started shooting and my stepdad was an artist so I would kind of stay in his darkroom all the time and print. And I didn’t stop, I just kept going with it.
What do you want us to take from the exhibition?
Well it’s funny, this whole premise is someone’s reaction paintings to my work so it’s more about reaction. I want people to enjoy it and see how they feel.
Are you currently working on any future projects?
Yeah, I’ve got a show coming up at Milk next year and a new book coming out. It’s a collection of photographs from the last 15 years on the road through America; a lot of that work’s been unseen. And there’s a bunch of other stuff going on in between all that.
Americana No Depression will be running until October 29th
84 Wooster St. Suite 202 NewYork, NY 10012