Explorations by Drew Kelly

I really like this series of photos by American photographer Drew Kelly. Entitled Explorations, this set is a depiction of the American landscape seen through the eyes of Kelly as he explored the American West between the years 2007 and 2009. Kelly says on his site that much of his country brings about opposing feelings in him, and this series is an attempt to express this conflicting feeling of being “both familar and foreign to [his] own country”.

I think a further juxtaposition also exists in the work between that which is man-made and that which is natural. His photos show wide open skyscapes being boarded-up by giant constructions, electrical cables that slice through woodlands, and the flat grounds of the Paiute Reservation becoming the perfect surrounding for a game of basketball. It’s a juxtaposition that, for me at least, seems equally tragic and strangely surreal and beautiful. What do you think? Can beauty be found in this divide between nature and man, where the artificial meets the natural? If it does, I think Drew Kelly’s photographs come pretty damn close to showing it.


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