12 December 2007

Matt Niebuhr

"I hope to portray something in addition to starkness and sadness.
I have a certain in-bred affinity for these objects. They have become
more than just buildings. I have an attachment to them. I feel defiance
and see character expressed by these structures simply standing
strong. Like certain aspects of the cultural beliefs about the
Midwestern farmer, I find the barns and cribs to be truly stoic
figures in a changing cultural landscape." ~ M.N.

Untitled #1 [Village View Farm 1904 / West Central Iowa 2006]
Photograph © Matt Niebuhr

On rare occasions, while following leads across the web I come across work that I like very much. This evening was one such occasion. I was looking for some of the images from a layout in the new Aperture and discovered Matt Niebuhr's web page. I think his "Portraits: Faces & Profiles of Utility" is simply brilliant. The farm buildings seem less desolate and dilapidated than resolute and resistant, the reliable landmarks in the lives that swirl around them. This is not nostalgia. It just is the working landscape of mid-America. And I will add that Western New York is mid-America too.

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