Views From The Road: Vernacular American Landscapes
San Francisco, CA
Abandonment, decay and reuse are recurring themes in Eric Engstrom's photocollage/mixed media canvases. Eric was born too late to go "On The Road" with Jack Keruoac but old enough to remember "Easy Rider". He has been strongly influenced by the writings of John Steinbeck, William Least Heat Moon, and Larry McMurtry and the pghotographs of Eric Sloane, Robert Frank, and William Eastman.
Cross-country road trips in 2001, 2004 and 2007 on old U.S. primary (now secondary) highways and a recent trip to rural Oahu, Hawaii have served as the source and inspiration for recent images. America has changed significantly in the last fifty years since the debut of the Interstate Highway System, and what once served as the main routes are now relegated to being side roads and main streets of empty towns.
The current exhibit showcases a fascination with the working railroads - the few remaining large railroads ans the local spur lines that serve local industries and agriculture. The images are intended to transform the mundane verncular buildings and roadside landscapes into complex visual expressions that enhance and celebrate the deep beauty inherent in the commonplace.