David Ricci — American Amusements
For nearly a decade I photographed at recreational sites throughout America: outdoor sports facilities, amusement parks, state fairs, boardwalks, and the like, when few people were present. Initially I was drawn to the formal possibilities of the steel ride structures, but these venues call out for crowds, so when nearly deserted they took on an intriguing, eerie, surreal aura. The absence of figures in the scenes also impacted the way I composed the photographs. Graphic elements that would have been obscured by throngs of people emerged from the scenes; I became acutely aware of the colors and patterns on the ground; the sky took on a greater role in the composition. Over time I progressively included a greater number of visual components in the frame, made extensive use of repeating motifs and used more complex formal structures. The compositions gradually became quite complex, bordering on chaos, and holding together a bit tenuously.
Since that time, I have expanded on this approach on several projects photographing a wide array of subject matter including building demolitions, dismantled factories, scrap metal heaps and commercial fishing vessels.
At the heart of these photographs is my attempt to recognize an unexpected elegance at sites thought to be aesthetically barren, to hear the music buried beneath the noise, to discover those mystical, magical moments found at the edge of chaos.
David Ricci is a self-taught American photographer. Early in his career he became intrigued with the work of the New Topographics and New Color photographers who influenced his work for decades to come. He employs complex visual structures characterized by gesture, rhythm, and pattern to reveal the underlying order in chaotic landscapes.
Ricci was the recipient of the Annual Curator’s Award from The Center for Photographic Arts and was longlisted for the Aesthetica Prize in the UK. His photographs have been exhibited and acquired by several museums including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Fogg Museum, Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Hyde Collection, Fleming Museum, DeCordova Museum, and Smith College Museum of Art.
His monograph, EDGE, will be published by Fall Line Press in Atlanta in April and can be ordered at www.falllinepress.com/Edge