“America is Reopening. Here’s What it Looks Like” for the New York Times.
Last month I was part of a nationwide project documenting the reopening. Pictured here is the Arizona Balloon Festival in Goodyear, AZ.
This commission reflects many of my sensibilities seen in my long-term personal works. Here the ingredients of light, color, humor, candid action, and charming moments make up this uniquely American visual recipe.
As much as the larger project was a post-pandemic coming out party for America, I suppose it was mine too— my first time venturing into a mostly unmasked gathering in a place other than a grocery store or retail establishment.
With a photographer assigned to each state, the totality of the project reminded me of one of the first photo documentary books of memory, David Elliot Cohen and Rick Somlan’s 1986 A Day In the Life of America.
The New York Times-“After a year spent in lockdown, The New York Times sent photographers to all 50 American states — as well as D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico — to document what reopening looks like.
From the beginning, the U.S. had a patchwork response to the coronavirus. Conflicting guidance from federal, state and local governments often left communities, businesses and individuals to navigate their own way through competing public health and economic crises.
As states began to announce reopenings in March, we documented each state’s unique re-emergence from the pandemic. The approach to reopening has been much the same: unclear guidance, competing narratives and Americans left to gauge their own comfort levels. Some have taken these first steps cautiously. But many scenes recall a world untouched by a deadly virus.”