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Work / Photography

American dream: photographer Ryan Shorosky’s candy-coloured skies

29-year-old Ryan Shorosky’s career in photography got off to an unconventional start. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 2013, Ryan spent the following year on a Kerouac-esque road trip across America living and working as a long-haul truck driver. At the same time, Ryan embarked on a long-term project considering his “relationship and interest with life on the road”.

Ryan’s dreamy pastels-drenched work orbits American life: its people, landscapes and seemingly endless array of rose-hued sunsets. In May, he spent two weeks in Las Vegas telling the story of the city for The New York Times. “I’ve always been fascinated with and focus a lot of my work and interest around themes that are intrinsic to the state of Nevada, so I thought it would be great to explore some of these within the frame of Las Vegas itself,” Ryan says. “Going into the story I had the idea to try and encompass as many different sides to the city as possible, to really explore what the city is today. So it quickly became about this process of opening myself up to every opportunity that came about and connecting with individuals in order to access the kinds of photographs that I envisioned for the piece. From junior cowboys at a rodeo, to professional Elvis impersonators in wedding chapels, to cocktail waitresses and street performers paying their way through school; the story for me was really about that process of immersion and the connection with others that points to an understanding and appreciation for a specific place and time.”

“I feel most inspired by the individuals that I meet and photograph,” Ryan continues. “I’ve always gravitated towards the kinds of people who either exist outside of or are more distant to the realms associated with something like photography, and in doing so require more of a gentleness in approach. And I believe there to be so much potential for connection in this process as it is ultimately what drives me to continue my exploration of image making as a way of sharing.”

Once a man of the road, now living permanently on America’s west coast in San Francisco, Ryan is hard at work on his first monograph, “focusing in and around the state of Nevada and its people, as well as ongoing project about rodeo culture in America among a few others.”

“I think experience itself is what lies deepest within my interests in photography, and is what comes to define it,” Ryan says. “It’s the understanding and willingness to be patient with the process; knowing that my most realised (and hopefully successful) pictures will reflect that sense of truly opening up to my surroundings and of how delicate that transfer really is between what we feel and what we create.”

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