September 5 – October 20, 2019
Receptions Sept 8, 2019 4 – 6 PM and Oct. 10, 2019
This body of work has been made over the last twenty years and more and shows no signs of being even near finished.
I was not working specifically on a ‘project’ until this collection started to take shape of its own accord. After moving around the country several times in the last 25 years, I realized I had covered a lot of territory and it began to feel to me as though this work was forging a chaotic observation about blue highways. Colored by my interests and experiences, the work lists between sentimentality and cynicism but is ultimately skewed by raw social curiosity. Mostly, when editing, I am struck by the realization that you just can’t make this stuff up. We live in a curious place.
The title, Miss Americana, is intended to convey both the corny good feeling that comes from tourist attractions and listening to roadside prophets, from loving this place where we live… replete with nostalgia and the passage of time and seeing loved ones pass among strangers. But prefixing the ‘Miss’ in front of ‘Americana’ is an intentional effort to subvert the rose-tinted nostalgia that sogs our cultural landscape. On larger issues, we seldom agree on much of anything. No matter who you are, there are subjective and objective realities to be had and someone to tussle with if you should be so inclined. Along the highways and byways, there is no end of enterprises to amuse, confuse, educate or anger those who are willing to pull over and pay attention.
My motives are generally mixed up between the simpler impulse to make images of my friends and family and surroundings on the one hand and my opposite tendency to wrestle images into a more theatrical being in hopes of conveying specific ideas or questions on the other. The admittedly hybrid result is a visual breakdown lying somewhere between my inventions and my intentions. This is a record of one person’s thoughts and ideas, and maybe not always an honest record at that. -GS
Gordon Stettinius’ work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, his photography can be found in both private and public collections, and he is a winner of the 2009 Theresa Pollak award for Excellence in the Arts. Stettinius is represented by Robin Rice Gallery in New York and Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. He is also an emeritus member of 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia.
In 2010, Stettinius decided to start up an independent publishing company, Candela Books, which released its first fine art photography book, a monograph of photographer Gita Lenz. An exhibition of Lenz’ work opened concurrently at Gitterman Gallery in New York. In 2011, Stettinius published the fourth book, Salt & Truth. from American photographer Shelby Lee Adams. Currently, Candela is working on its third and fourth titles.
In 2011, Candela Gallery was founded opening with exhibitions to support Candela’s first book titles but quickly filling its schedule with photographers of national reputation. The gallery is located in the downtown arts district in a newly renovated building.
Stettinius is also currently teaching as an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.