Friday, 13 July 2012

Lucas Foglia: the photographer in search of off-the-grid Americans

Raised by back-to-the-landers, he scoured the US in a camper van, seeking out people who have gone further than his parents

Lucas Foglia, who is 29 and looks 19, grew up on a farm on Long Island just 30 miles from Manhattan. His parents were part of the post 1960s "back-to-the land" movement, fired up on the writing of self-sufficiency pioneers such as Helen and Scott Bearing and Wendell Berry. By the time Foglia reached adolescence, the woods and fields around the farm had become suburbanised, but his parents continued to grow and preserve their own food, and to barter with other self-sufficient families throughout the area.

Having graduated from Yale, where he was taught by Gregory Crewdson, Foglia bought a camper van and set off with his camera and a few necessities on the thousand-mile drive to the Appalachians. "Photography for me," he says, "is a mechanism to learn about things. I wanted to see if I could find the absolute, if there were communities or individuals who lived off the grid and were wholly self-sufficient." (Read further: Source)