Similar to legendary photographer and colour photography pioneer William Eggleston (b. 1939), who spent all his life photographing every corner of his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, Gary Briechle (b. 1955, United States) doesn't feel the urge to travel somewhere to take a great photo. "Everything that inspires me is within a few miles of my home", he says referring to the rocky coast of Maine where he now lives for about 20 years. Hence the simple and straightforward name of his new book: Maine.
In a similar fashion to Eggleston, Briechle doesn't have an interest in beautiful landscapes and shiny happy people. His main inspiration comes from the ordinary, subjects that are considered ugly by others, or usually simply go by unnoticed. This is daily life at its most pure, not at its most pretty. In careful details, Briechle shows a man getting arrested, a wig on a nightstand, cigarettes in the snow, together painting a portrait of an American State where everything doesn’t seem to be going great. The recurring themes here are birth and death and also human decay and our failed attempts to change the world.
By following certain locals throughout many long winters and too brief summers, Briechle unfolds as an existentialist storyteller who treats the portrayed subjects with a peculiar intimacy, creating a compassionate narrative about people and places that are ready to reveal their physical and psychological wounds.