Steve Fitch: American Motel Signs
Portfolio Introduction
In American Motel Signs Steve Fitch crisscrossed the United States documenting the colorful dynamic, advertisements inviting weary traveler to park their car and pack it in for the night. Tinged with nostalgia, these delightfully garish motel signs lovingly recall a mid 20th Century road culture speaking to a sense of independence and freedom central to the contemporary American identity. A trained anthropologist, Fitch’s approach to American Motel Signs is almost scientific. Images of a single subject are crafted with and observational distance and a democratic square frame inviting viewers to compare regional differences in detail, design, and landscape under the umbrella of a single society seemingly focused on fun, travel, and leisure. For Fitch much of his photographic work was inspired by childhood family road trips from Northern California to South Dakota and continues to focus on what the artist has termed the ‘vernacular of the journey’.

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