Burk Uzzle's latest exhibition "Burk Uzzle: American Puzzles" at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York is born out of a six decade love affair with America. The photographer says, "America is the most exotic country in the world. It is also the loneliest." The exhibition shows off over 80 of Uzzle's "antic" black and white images through July 31, 2015.
It's easy to see Uzzle's unique sense of graphic, geometric composition and how it intertwines with everything else going on in the frame to create a singular vision of America life with all its quirkiness. His focus isn't the big cities, but the small towns.
One statement from the photographer sums up his point of view about this series, "I can't explain our civilization, but I can giggle about it."
And so can we, in the images that showcase his whimsical view of life in these 50 states.
Big Rooster, Wilson, North Carolina, 1970
Tired, New Jersey, 1967
Born in 1938 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Burke Uzzle began working as a photographer at age 14. He became a staff photographer for the "News & Observer" in Raleigh, North Carolina at 17. In 1957, Uzzle was hired as a contract photographer for the Black Star Agency. During that time he documented the Civil Rights Movement and produced some of the most iconic images of the assassination and funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.
At the age of 23, Uzzle became the youngest photographer ever hired by "LIFE" magazine in 1962. In an already illustrious career, he became a member of the prestigious agency Magnum Photos five years later.
Overpass in Curlers, Baltimore, 1967
Uzzles series shows a subtle interplay between shapes and shadows.
Brand New Highway, New Mexico, 1970
Uzzle's full mastery of the entire frame, especially the corners in his photos is heavily influenced by quattrocento (15th century Italian) paintings, which he was told to study by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Overpass Shadows, Connecticut Race Track, 1967
Park Slide, Washington, DC, 1967
Wrong Way Arrow, Cony Island, NY, 1968
Woman at Beach, New Jersey Shore, 1967
Andy Under Diving Board, North Carolina , 1975
St. Louis Airport, St. Louis, 1967