For over thirty years, american photographer Jim Dow has been recording the places where people enact their everyday rituals and regional traditions; petrol stations, beauty salons, pool halls, baseball stadiums, drive-thru burger bars, courtrooms, the shifting, vanishing backdrops of our daily lives. “The hundreds of pictures I have made and the thousands of miles I have travelled could be said to comprise a straight line, my interest in photography centres on its capacity for what appears to be exact description. I use photography to try to record the
manifestations of human ingenuity and spirit that still remain in the everyday landscape.”
Dow earned a B.F.A. and a M.F.A. in graphic design and photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1965 and 1968 respectively. An early influence was Walker Evans’s seminal book American Photographs (1938).
Dow recalls the appeal of Evans’s razor sharp, infinitely detailed, small images of town architecture and people. What stood out was a palpable feeling of loss, pictures that seemingly read like paragraphs, even chapters in one long, complex, rich narrative. Immediately after graduate school Dow had the opportunity to work with Evans being hired to print his mentor’s photographs for a 1972 Museum of Modern Art retrospective.
Jim Dow was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA where he continues to live and work.
His photographs are included in numerous gallery and private collections worldwide, and he has recently published two books; Marking The Land: Jim Dow in North Dakota, 2007
and American Studies, 2011.
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