We travel from here to there and back again on a daily basis. Familiarity might not breed contempt, but it may render almost invisible the unique, interesting, or strange things that fly past our car windows. The roadside attractions of the 1940s and 1950s once drew travelers’ attention, but interstates and four-lane highways have sidelined these kitschy and eccentric expressions. Some inventive photographers have discovered ways to resurrect their impact.
Tom Bamberger’s images appear at first to be of an endless stream of cars along an endless stretch of road, they are actually composed of smaller photos of single cars. J.P Atterberry searched out lively, humorous street murals that enliven the urban landscape. Carl Corey walked the Yellowstone Trail, America’s first cross-country tourist route created for automobiles in 1913, taking photographs along its meandering 480 miles over a two-year period. Suzanne Rose focused on the stark beauty of gas stations and industrial buildings. Jason Vaughn found beauty in the silent, ramshackle deer stands often hidden and overlooked within the Wisconsin landscape. Mark Brautigam highlighted the strangeness and even humor in the most mundane scene.
Stop for a while, let your eyes wander, and take in the Roadside Attractions.
Their familiarity will strike a chord, and they’ll help you see anew.