These images come from a series called Pinnacle Realty, a visual examination of the physical and cultural landscape of American suburbs, the environment in which I grew up. While I am now far enough removed from this environment to see its ambiguities, idiosyncrasies, and shortcomings, I still feel a personal connection to it, finding a certain level of comfort in its indistinguishable strip malls and soaring overpasses. Formally, the images mimic the subject matter, using bright, saturated colors and neat, balanced compositions to echo the manicured and highly controlled setting. At the same time, I did not want to reproduce the stereotypical portrayal of the suburbs as an intellectual wasteland. Instead, I sought to weave my own personal narrative into a matrix of suburban iconography, taking mundane objects or everyday actions and studying them as a culture’s monuments and rituals: a hieroglyphic record of seemingly pointless moments. By imbuing these disposable artifacts with an uncommon importance, I hope to portray suburban identities as an amalgamation of signs and symbols, borrowed from both a real past and an imagined one.
Eli is based out of Queens, NY. He has worked as a printer at Griffin Editions in Brooklyn and as an assistant to Joel Meyerowitz. He will be pursuing an MFA in Photography at Yale starting in the fall of 2014.
Artist’s Website: elidurst.com