American Triptych started in 2005 as a previous project (Val Verde) was ending. I would drive to Montecito on the 126 highway, which connects the 5 fwy with the 101 fwy. This route cuts through the farmlands of Santa Paula and Piru and until the recent urban sprawl you could imagine you were in the California of the 1960’s – all orange trees and sleepy towns. Piru is where the project started, but Cabazon, Indio and the wind farms of the east 10 fwy soon joined it.
An offshoot of the group has been centered on the towns surrounding the Hwy 99 as it cuts through the heart of California’s Central Valley. Originally the 99 was the main route from Mexico to Canada until the more direct 5 fwy literally sidelined it. What’s left is the working heart of the state, and towns with names like Galt, McFarland and Fresno. The is project is about a uniquely American vernacular, our visual history and language. In each town I’ve tried to create one image, which captures what I feel that town is about – or maybe, what it used to be about.