AMERICAN NIGHT – a photography book by PAUL GRAHAM

American Night is not about the glamorous gloom of the after hours nor the exhilarating Bright Lights Big City atmosphere. There are no lights involved, but rather a subtle therefore powerful depiction of American society as seen through the eyes of an English-born photographer now living in New York City.

Graham has wandered downtowns and residential areas alike, juxtaposing the sprawling immaculate suburbs of the American West and the rundown rat-infested neighborhoods, transmiting the disparity between social classes, the differences in their quality of life expectations for the future. Instead of focusing on the blatant differences, he develops an elegant idea that goes far beyond the perfectly balanced composition and pinpoint lighting: the selection of less-obvious images that we all encounter daily, almost subconsciously, but that few of us take notice of.

The obvious is a big house with a nice spotless car parked in front, printed in full color like a birthday party picture.

The less obvious is a solitary figure walking along a highway, looking for scraps in a garbage bin or passing by a line of car for sale that he’d never be able to afford to buy, printed like it has been washed, as if to obliterate it from sight.

The only time when solitaries figures are printed in full color, they are is in sharp crude-as-life light situation.

A powerful collection of images that brings together dreams and reality, people with a future and those with only a present.

Michele Molinari

all images @ Paul Graham


Buy American Night

Paul Graham has been the recipient of many awards including a Eugene Smith Memorial Followship. His work has been exhibited extensively, including at the MoMA, NY, and the Tate Gallery, London. Previously published books include Troubled Land, New EuropeEmpty Heaven and End of an Age.

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