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New York to Route 66: A Pictorial History

May 01 Through Jun 28 | Wed |
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Just Three Blocks from the Superfine Art Fair Paul Calendrillo New York and Meet in Place are proud to present

New York to Route 66: A Pictorial History By photographer Christophe Avril

Growing up in France, my first interest with the image world was looking through magazines that were hanging everywhere in our small flat, magazines like: L’Ecran, Cinémonde, Life and Vogue, and by watching the black and white TV with all the American movies. This is when I discovered the American west with John Ford movies filmed in Monument Valley and other places in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Everything looked so big. Also, the I loved the television series that made me travel to America, The Little House in the Prairie, Bonanza, Route 66, Wanted Dead or Alive and Daniel Boone.

Later on, I discovered still photography and very rapidly fell in love with this art. Photographers like, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, or Helmut Newton and the American, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange or Annie Leibovitz made me want to become a photographer.

But my all-time inspirational photographers, whom I appreciate without trying to copy, are artists like Robert Doisneau , Ansel Adams, Edward S. Curtis. American writer, John Steinbeck with The Grapes of Wrath, Jack London with his novels about the gold rush, describing the life of the people during the gold rush and James Albert Michener and his great books; Alaska, Texas and The People and the Land also motivated me to travel all over the US.

New York, the Big, Apple, the city that never sleeps, with its high skyscrapers and its distinctive boroughs, is a great source of inspiration. While walking year round, no matter the season or weather, I always think of what I use to imagine about this “world symbol” before coming here for the first time. Being here I remembered back to my childhood in front of my French TV where I dreamt of taking pictures like Robert Doisneau who photographed Paris.

Two thousand four hundred and eighty-eight miles of getting my kicks on Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. Going through eight states across America was certainly the best way to travel into the past. From prohibition in Chicago, the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma and during the Great Depression and the migration of farmers who traveled with all their goods to the promised land of California for a better life and to seek jobs, land, dignity, and a future, and along the Main Streets of America, I was able to live and enjoy beautiful historical buildings, diners and old rusty cars from the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was a journey that at times made me believed that I was living in another time.

Venue: Meet in Place

75 Spring Street, 2nd Floor Map