As a teenager, I spent my summers driving box-vans through the Central Valley of California for my father’s delivery business. It was on these sojourns that I first learned that the social landscape had things to say to me. I found myself becoming increasingly fascinated by the contradictions of American life.
Years later, when I took up the camera, I began making solo road trips throughout the American West. I quickly found that man’s footprint on the natural environment had become even more pronounced. But the difference this time was that I began to see more than just the contradictions; I began to see a sublime kind of beauty in the oddities and incongruities offered up by the American highway.
An abandoned parachute hovering in a front yard, a camouflage structure hiding something in a park, a tree starting to consume an unattended minivan. Each image, explicable and incomplete, is meant to hint at a narrative, from which the viewer can take away his or her own version of the story.
Dustin Aksland currently resides in San Francisco, CA, where he received his BFA in Photography from the Academy of Art University in 2006. His photographs have been exhibited in Brussels, Copenhagen, New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. Aksland’s work has also been published in the Humble Arts Foundation’s book The Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography, JSBJ’s Taxi Pleins, Taxis Vides, and Upper Playground’s Backyard Shakedown. In 2008, Aksland was nominated for the prestigious SFMOMA SECA Award.