Doug Rickard

A New American Picture

Doug Rickard documents the quiet, deserted, anonymous, twilight-zone areas of a neighbourhood he refers to simply as ‘American Suburb’.

These places could be found in almost any suburban tract of a certain age, anywhere across America. Rickard’s photographs capture what is quintessential: A certain style of mass-produced architecture, erected decades ago, that gets altered (a little) over the years with attempts to make it look more cheery or more personal or less-uniform.

These quickly and cheaply constructed cookie-cutter ‘communities’, painted with changing colours over the years, are surrounded by flat grass lawns, low-maintenance ground cover, generic shrubs and bushes.

These are not vibrant neighbourhoods; there is barely a sign of human life here, except for a gap in some window blinds where someone might be looking out.

It is not difficult to imagine that the people who inhabit American Suburb prefer to sit or lie quietly inside, with the shades drawn, while they watch TV, or worry about their medicine, or wait for tomorrow’s alarm clock to go off.

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