Menu

Haunting Visions of the Sprawling American West

French photographer Emmanuel Monzon thinks living in the United States is like living inside a painting. In his meticulously crafted American scenes, all humans have vacated the premises, leaving behind only the background they once inhabited.

The Urban Sprawl photographs picture what the artist calls the “in-between” places on the outskirts of cities, mostly in the West. These sites are comparable to what the French anthropologist Marc Augé dubbed “non-places.” This isn’t a point on the map so much as it is the ambiguous gap separating point A from point B.

Monzon isn’t affected by the same sense of nostalgia that seems to drive so many photographers; he isn’t precious about his work, but he is painstaking and precise. His process is methodical, involving hours upon hours of driving, framing, shooting, and starting over from the beginning until everything is exactly right.

Patrick di Nola, when judging a contest for Life Farmer, wrote the following of Monzon’s images: “The blandness becomes vivid.” It’s true; in these square frames, the mundane glitters.

Monzon is serious about not projecting his emotions onto these manmade landscapes— “In my artwork there is no judgment,” he writes— but the great paradox of his work lies in the fact that the pictures are somehow filled with feeling.

The photographer says the theme that binds his images is their “emptiness.” What is absent matters just as much as what’s present, but that doesn’t mean the pictures are lonely, though they have often been described as such. No, for those who dare to find it, there’s genuine surprise and delight to be found in the void, and that’s what makes Urban Sprawl so special.

Follow Emmanuel Monzon on Instagram.

All images © Emmanuel Monzon

  • I’ve made $104,000 previous year by freelancing online a­­n­­d I did that by w­orking in my own time for several hours on daily basis. I was following a money making opportunity I stumbled upon from this website i found online and I am so thrilled that i made so much extra income. It’s so beginner friendly a­­n­­d I’m just so happy that i discovered this. Here’s what I did… http://statictab.com/gpfvgtj

  • Albin

    Very good. Having traveled through suchlike country, it’s hard to convey the atmospheric dryness and heat – there’s a kind of surrealism about it – the desaturated look here does it very well.

  • I was paid 104000 bucks in last twelve months by working online from home and I was able to do it by w­o­r­k­i­n­g part time f­­o­­r 3+ h each day. I used work opportunity I stumbled upon from company that i found online and I am amazed that I was able to earn so much money. It’s newbie friendly a­n­d I’m just so grateful that i discovered it. Here’s what I do… http://statictab.com/6x2fxzv

  • I’ve earned $104000 last year by freelancing on-line a­n­d I did that by working in my own time f­o­r few hrs each day. I used work opportunity I was introduced by this web-site i found online and I am so thrilled that I was able to earn so much extra income. It’s beginner friendly and I’m so happy that i discovered this. Check out what I do… http://statictab.com/iyxniid

  • I was paid 104,000 bucks in 2016 by doing an on-line job from my house a­n­d I did it by wo­rking part time for 3+ hrs /day. I used work opportunity I came across from this website i found online and I am so thrilled that i was able to make so much money. It’s beginner friendly a­n­d I’m just so blessed that i learned about it. Here’s what I did… http://statictab.com/gpfvgtj

  • I have profited 104 thousand dollars in last twelve months by doing an online job a­n­d I did that by wo­rking in my own time f­­o­­r 3+ hours /day. I’m using a business opportunity I stumbled upon from company that i found online and I am excited that I was able to earn such great money. It’s very beginner-friendly a­­n­­d I’m so happy that I found out about this. Check out what I do… http://statictab.com/astkxim

  • I got paid $104k previous year by working from my home and I did that by working in my own time for 3 or sometimes more hours /daily. I used a business opportunity I was introduced by this web-site i found on-line and I am so thrilled that i earned so much money. It’s so user friendly and I’m just so thankful that i learned about it. Here is what i did… please visit my account for webpage

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!