Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Man drifting northwest at approximately 68 mph on U.S. Route 101 somewhere near Camarillo, California, one evening in 1989.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Woman caught in traffic while heading southwest on U.S. Route 101 near the Topanga Canyon Boulevard exit, Woodland Hills, California, at 5:38 in the summer of 1989.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man traveling southeast on U.S. Route 101 at approximately 71 mph somewhere around Camarillo, California, on a summer evening in 1994.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Women racing southwest at 41 mph along 26th Street near the Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California, at 1:14 p.m. on a Tuesday in February 1997.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man driving family south-southeast at 61 mph after traveling north-northwest for tacos, tacos, tacos in the summer of 2010.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man continuing east at 67 mph on Interstate 10 near Palms Boulevard in Los Angeles at 4:14 p.m. in February 1991.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Woman heading west at 71 mph on Interstate 44 outside Rolla, Missouri, at 11:43 a.m. in January 1991.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man (possibly someone in character) traveling northwest at 60 mph on U.S. Route 101 in the vicinity of Hollywood on a late Sunday afternoon in March 1991.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man finding his way south at 64 mph on Interstate 5 near Wildcat Canyon, California, on a Sunday in 1993.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Woman rolling to a stoplight at Wilshire Boulevard and Lafayette Park Place in Hollywood on January 18, 1997.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man heading north at 66 mph on the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles on an afternoon in 1989.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man traveling southeast at approximately 68 mph on U.S. Route 101 someplace in Southern California in the winter of 1997.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Someone's son traveling northbound at 60 mph on U.S. Route 101 near Santa Barbara at 1:55 p.m. in August 1993.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Woman going about her business at 62 mph on southbound Interstate 5 near San Diego at 9:38 a.m. on a Tuesday in February 1992.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Woman gliding southeast at 64 mph on U.S. Route 101 near Santa Barbara at 4:39 p.m. sometime in March 1990.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man heading south at 73 mph on Interstate 5 near Buttonwillow Drive outside of Bakersfield, California, at 5:36 p.m. on a Tuesday in March 1992.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

High school students cruising west at 38 mph along Sunset Boulevard on a weekend in February 1997.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man ramping down from the Santa Monica Freeway to the northbound Harbor Freeway at 31 mph at 12:18 a.m. on a Saturday morning in 1995.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man heading west at 78 mph on Interstate 10 near Palm Springs, California, sometime during an evening in 1990.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man rolling along (and whistling audibly) on U.S. Route 101 at approximately 55 mph on a summer day in 1989.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man traveling southbound at 67 mph on U.S. Route 101 near Montecito, California, at 6:31 p.m. on or around the 28th of a summer month on a Sunday in 1994.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man drifting near the shoulder at 61 mph on Interstate 405 at 4:01 p.m. on a Tuesday in September 1992.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Teenagers bopping through light traffic at 51 mph on the Ventura Freeway near Valley Circle Boulevard, Los Angeles, at 3:18 p.m. on March 16, 1997.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man heading south at 73 mph on Interstate 5 near Buttonwillow Drive outside of Bakersfield, California, at 5:36 p.m. on a Tuesday in March 1992.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man and woman traveling southeast at 68 mph on Highway 101 outside of Camarillo, California, after 3:31 PM but before the summer equinox of 2010.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Woman taking her time rambling south at 63 mph on the Hollywood Freeway near the Vine Street exit in Los Angeles on a Saturday afternoon in 1991.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANDREW BUSH

Man possibly returning from college at 71 mph along the Camino Real near San Juan Road at 3:33 p.m. on a Saturday in June 1993.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew Bush

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reFramed: In conversation with fine art photographer Andrew Bush

Framework, the photography and video blog of the Los Angeles Times, is launching a visual series titled reFramed. Curated by staff photographer Barbara Davidson, it will showcase fine art photography and vision-forward photojournalism.  twitter@photospice

Andrew Bush, a native of St. Louis, came to Los Angeles to attend college in 1975 and has been intermittently pursuing the Vector Portraits series since 1989.  Captured on the expansive roadways of Los Angeles and across the West, the work speaks to a democratic American ideal—not just that of the open road, but the personal vehicular space sacred to Angelenos who spend so much time ensconced en route.  Bush’s photographs allow access into those private moments, defying the fleeting nature of car culture. The viewer holds the privileged role of voyeur, observing and surveilling the oftentimes-unaware subjects.

M+B Gallery, Los Angeles

Q: Your project “Vector Portraits” leaves me smiling from ear to ear.
What inspired you to create this work?

A: Aside from thinking this was a good way to meet people in Los Angeles while also making driving more interesting, I wanted to look at the changing and elusive space of driving — where we seem to feel invisible not only because we are enclosed but because of the speed we are traveling.
Photography is a good tool for doing this.

………………..

Q: The city of Los Angeles is often known as the car capital of the world.
How did you select the subjects and their cars?

A: I was fairly democratic in the making of the photos. I would make a photo if  it was possible — if I was driving the same speed as the car next to me. In the editing I would make a selection based on a number of  subjective considerations: Is the car interesting?  Is the driver interesting?  Is the landscape interesting? Also,  I would be drawn to older cars because the  older car bodies exhibit all sorts of markings — fine details — that come from use and travel … that only photography can render.

………………..

Q: With your “66 Drives” series, it looks as though you are examining a private space – inside of the car — but in a public arena — cruising along highways and streets. It creates an interesting tension. Would you agree, and was it intentional?

A: The boundary between public and private space is the subject of many of my photo projects; photography is an especially good tool for examining this boundary.  I was really not so much interested in the car, which is why the entire car is not visible in these photos. The car is not so much a separate thing traveling through the world but the car, driver and landscape are inseparable.

………………..

Q: How did you shoot this work from a technical standpoint?

A: A camera was mounted on the passenger side and I would travel the same direction and speed as my subject.

Q: What were some of the reactions you got while driving around making these photos?

A: When people were aware of having been photographed they often expressed some sort of consternation.

………………..

Q: Your work features repetition and how that repetition plays out. Do you use repetition in your other projects?

A: It is not so much about repetition as the collection of types — or a typology. A number of my projects in the 1980s and early ’90s  used serial presentation as a way to explore typologies. Typologies work  especially well in showing variations in large amounts of data … and in this case in showing how individual styles have transformed what may seem like limited design choices.

………………..

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I work on a number of projects simultaneously. Ironically,  I am returning to making more of these photos after 20 years but with a slight twist. I am making the photos in Rome, Italy. You might consider each car and driver as a way in which a driver circulates  his or her image — just by driving around. After making a print, I mail it to the driver as an invitation for the driver to come to an exhibition of their photo. Again, a lot of my work is concerned with questioning what is public and what is private information.

Andrew Bush is represented by M+B Gallery in Los Angeles and Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. His work is currently on exhibit in Berlin through July 30 at 3Punts Gallery.

Barbara.Davidson@latimes.com

twitter@photospice

1 Comment

  1. June 19, 2012, 11:30 pm

    The subject (Driving a Rolls Royce, I believe) in photo #8 of 27 is actor Richard Anderson (Six Million Dollar Man and Paths of Glory). This collection is voyeuristic and is uniquely appropriate to the Los Angeles experience. But it's just snapshots of people driving. Not visually compelling, IMHO. No offense intended to artist or admirers.

    By: wppis1@sbcglobal.net

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