Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Gritty cities

Photographer Kallianiotis captures the run down areas of Pennsylvania, his home state, in this interesting collection of eighty-five color photos. They are all exterior shots taken in small cities and towns that could be called part of America's rust belt, coal in the eastern part of the state and steel in the western.  

These are working class areas as revealed by the power cables that occupy the top part of most of the photos, their appearance almost seems like a Kallianiotis trademark because of their frequency but I think they add something to the photos, other photographers would probably try and avoid the black lines in the sky which would be a mistake because they are such an integral part of American commonplace.

Not every photo works, the few close-up ones don't seem to deliver the visual interest which is apparent in so many of the street scenes full of texture from decaying walls and wood. There are several superb corner photos with utility poles, road signs, broken pavements, graffiti, apartments and houses in various colors and not forgetting those power cables again.
The photos are all the same size on the page which gives the book a visual uniformity (and printed with a two hundred screen) but I would have liked to have seen a location caption below each photo. I think they were all taken in the last three or four years.




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