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July 26, 2011

Drive-By Shooting: Candid Portraits of L.A Drivers in the 1980s and ’90s

Andrew Bush concentrated on the theme of identity as defined by possessions from his very first works such as Bonnettstown Hall, in 1984 that recorded an 18th century Irish manor occupied by the same family for many generations.

After settling in Los Angeles in 1985, the American photographer took on a project called Vector Portraits that were photographs of cars and their passengers taken while he was driving in the city’s streets and freeways. With the help of an equipment installed on his passenger seat, Bush captured drivers framed by their car windows and the surrounding landscapes, either stopped in traffic or traveling, lost in their thoughts or interacting with other passengers.

“Initially, I was just floundering around in the world with a camera. Living in Los Angeles, I was captivated by how people interacted as a result of driving, so I began experimenting with taking pictures while driving. It seemed strange that we exist in this very private interior, almost a living room, while circulating in such a public way.”

His spontaneous images reveal the ambiguity between private and public spaces while they unveil amusing details such as bullet holes or a disguised airport car. Yet the most fascinating is how connected drivers and cars are; just as we tend to say how much dogs and their owners look alike, it seems as though cars and drivers also share a close identity.



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