Oli Kellett’s America
London-based photographer Oli Kellett’s images of modern America depict individuals at crossroads, caught between a promised future and a confusing present.
Capturing individuals on street corners or crossing roads, Kellett’s ongoing project reflects a society that is trapped in the in-between. Traveling across LA, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, New York and Atlanta to photograph different peoples and places, the project is a record of everyday life across the States. The images embody the exclusively modern tension between belonging to a group and existing as a lone body in a busy, complicated world. Making use of shadow and light, Kellett further reinforces this binary, showing how his subjects are in a state of limbo. Photographing both big groups and single individuals waiting, waiting, and waiting some more to cross the road, he explores the balance between a society that is attempting to move forward while grinding to a halt.
Interested in probing the relationship between people and the urban environment, his photos draw on the disparities between the imagined and reality, specifically in the context of the American dream. Iconic all-American symbols — the cowboy hat and the Hollywood movie — feature in his photos and serve as a reminder of the illusory nature of the dream.