No American roadtrip is so classic as the one bound west, especially from New York to California. That is the route Italy-born photographer Renato D’Agostin took last summer on his 1983 BMW R100, cruising 7,439 miles coast-to-coast: breaking down, developing film in motel sinks along the way.
“It was challenge,” says D’Agostin, “because the cross-country roadtrip has been done so much; it’s a part of your American photographic culture. Robert Frank did it sixty years ago, leaving a strong mark on everybody’s mind, and many other adventures followed. The size, distance, and scale in the landscape is something I’ve never seen before. Everything changes; it is hard to believe it’s the same country from north to south, east to west. It keeps surprising you.”
But he found patterns. The headlamp on his bike mimicked the full moon above. The roads, rivers, and rocket launch contrails -even the Coca-Cola cursive- appeared like ribbon. What you see in this series are hints of a larger picture.
He says, “Everything doesn’t have to be photographed in the same way to be remembered.”
Text by Chantel Tattoli, Condé Nast Traveler
Renato D'Agostin was born in 1983. He started his career in photography in Venice, Italy in 2001. The atmosphere of city life nourished his curiosity to capture life situations with the camera. For this, in 2002, he journeys through the capitals of Western Europe. After a period in Milan where he worked with the production studio Maison Sabbatini, he moved overseas exploring photography in New York. In the dynamic city life he had the chance to meet photographer Ralph Gibson and later on become his assistance.
In 2007, he presented Metropolis at the Leica Gallery in New York. Other exhibitions followed in The United States, Europe and Asia in the years after. His works have been published in numerous books and some of his prints have in the years become part of public collections such as The Library of Congress and The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, as well as the Center for Creative Photography in Arizona and the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in Paris among others.
Dislocating subjects from their realities, he depicts his perception of the space around him, the relationship between the architecture and people, opening a new portal in the spectator’s imagination.