suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
bryan SCHUTMAAT: For the past few years, I’ve been taking intermittent trips westward. I’m moved by the mountains, the open spaces, and all the other natural beauty the American West has to offer. But I’m also moved by the places in between—the old cafes, motels, gas stations, and so on. These days, both the wilderness and these small businesses seem to be in peril as developers move in and alter the physical and economic landscape. So, through photography I aim to preserve these aspects of the West that seem to be vanishing. From my trips, I developed this series, Western Frieze, which examines America’s cultural identity and how it relates to the landscape and whatever mystique the West has left.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
bS: The main motivation for this work comes from a simple sense of affection for the landscape and what I find around me when I’m out traveling.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
bS: Townes Van Zandt and Wim Wenders.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
bS: Dorothee Deiss