Catch Mike Brodie's incredible train-hopping photos
Inspired by Steve McCurry's portraits, Brodie rode the rails for four years, shooting pictures of the people he met
When browsing through the young US photographer Mike Brodie's series, [A Period of Juvenile Prosperity](Read more: http:/www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2013/01/slide-show-pictures-from-mike-brodies-a-period-of-juvenile-prosperity.html#ixzz2NKbavicN), certain cultural references come to mind. There's something of Kerouac about the series, and something of Ryan McGuinley. So, it might surprise readers to learn that Brodie's chief inspiration are the portraits taken by the superlative documentary photographer and Phaidon artist Steve McCurry.
As the 27-year-old, Arizona-born photographer explained in a recent interview on NewYorker.com, "I came across a book of portraits by Steve McCurry. I was inspired, and told myself I was going to go take portraits like him, so I went out in the world and tried my best to get good photos of the people and places that I thought were important to me."
Rather than travel to the wilds of Afghanistan, Brodie instead spent four years traveling across America, staying with an underground rock band in Philadelphia and with some friendly vegans in Portland. In between, he spent much of his time on freight trains, hopping aboard these diesel locomotives as they crossed the continental US.
Shooting first on Polaroid film, he then moved onto 35mm, capturing a series of images that eventually won the Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers, as well as countless press and gallery plaudits.
Brodie says he doesn't regard himself as a professional photographer, much less a fine artist, and, instead now makes his living as a mobile diesel mechanic. However, he does hint at the relationship between people and their broken cars as a possible subject for visual exploration, rounding, off his New Yorker Q&A with the admission, "I should be photographing it."
Until he does, we'll content ourselves with these images, currently on show at The Yossi Milo gallery in New York until April 6, and also at and also at The M+B Gallery, Los Angeles from March 16 until May 11. For more, take a look at Mike's site, and for more on his inspiration, please consider our Steve McCurry books.