[T]he vastness of America’s social and geographical landscapes has been masterfully captured by photographers for long over a century. Blurring the lines between documentary and art, photographers from Walker Evans to William Eggleston have explored obscure backwaters of the USA attempting to decode the identity of a complex and diverse nation. From the hard times and hedonism in major cities, to the listlessness of youth in the plains, mountains, deserts and small towns of the back country, photographers have sought to see beyond newspaper headlines and movie scene tropes. Instead, they deliver portraits of a country, often candid, sometimes stylised, that offer an insight into an unknowable landscape and a diverse, divided population.
Naturally, each new generation of photographers seeks to document their America in the same way. Aesthetics vary, demographics change, landscapes erode or giveway to out of town malls, shop signs fade and people move away. Nevertheless, something distinctly and instantly recognisable remains.
Here are five photographers whose vision of America we’re really enjoying right now.