WEEKENDS: Mikael Kennedy's 'California'



So, you'll be buying this right? One week in California. 24 color photographs. 32 pages. 100 copies published. Signed and numbered by the man himself.  Get em while they're hot ya'll. This sophisticated travel chapbook will go fast.

Mikael Kennedy is both a commercial and fine art photographer slash part-time rug collector based out of Brooklyn, New York. Many know Mikael from his earlier collected works and travel blog. Titled 'Passport to Trespass' it's a collection of candid, quick, and artfully composed polaroids documenting life on the road.

Kennedy has progressed considerably as an artist since those early polaroids.  As  of late his work can be found in the loookbooks of hipper-than-thou nuevo-Americana and hefty heritage brands such as Filson, the Hill-Side, Wolverine, Schott, and most recently Billy Reid.

To every new project or venture, Kennedy always brings his brand of quiet introspection, ruff-hewn elegance, and inspired isolation to each frame and photo. I love it, and others seem to as well. Pick up 'California' and other works, here.

"I was on the road most of the time in those days, bouncing back and forth across the country. It was in my blood. My older brother had ridden freights when I was in high school and I lived off his letters. In my early twenties I hit the road, catching rides with touring bands, hitching here and there, living out of my car when I had one. I would find work off and on as a dishwasher, a house painter, a garbage man, not working, selling my blood to buy film, stealing film. The point of the travel was to live my life to the fullest, to experience as much as I could before I ran out of time, running out of time has always been on my mind. There was no point to the Polaroids, I just carried that camera with me wherever I went and shot whatever I saw, whom ever I was with. Thirteen years later shooting Polaroids now means something entirely different to me, they carry a different weight than other forms of photography, each one is unique, one of a kind. They are art objects more than they are photographs. Like little paintings. Each one representing a moment in time, in a life, both which will never exist again. With the death of Polaroid it makes them that much more special, the photograph is present in the moment in which is was taken, we held that image in our hands, the dirt from our fingers is embedded in the object. It became part of that reality."

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"People often ask me if I am done taking Polaroids now that the Passport to Trespass series is over, and the answer is most definitely NO. This is part of the story may be over, but I am far from done traveling. It's mostly that the roads I'm on are different. The end began when I was wandering up and down the California coast last year; I scribbled down a note in a book that struck me: "these are no longer the roads of my youth." I was no longer a kid running around random cities all night, waking up under a tree on the side of the road... Things had changed so it felt like it was time to end this part of the story and begin another one; to start a new chapter."Screenshot 2014-03-11 02.02.27

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photos : mikael kennedy quotes: the new yorker, the gq eye