ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
“Oh Lonesome’s a Bad Place”
Each word depicts contrasting images, however, each is often found in the other. This slideshow, “Oh Lonesome’s a Bad Place”, shot over the span of five days which began in San Francisco and ended in Winnemucca, Nevada on a workshop that took place during David Alan Harvey’s ‘Off For A Family Drive’ project, is titled from a line in the Kenneth Patchen poem “Lonesome Boy Blues”.
Workshops, like assignments, are meant to challenge but this workshop experience has been unique in that not only did I instantly become a member of a family drive, but was also tasked with producing a piece by time’s end. My on-the-road family for the past week proved to be as nuclear as it was non-traditional, as were my bar families. In each instance, communication was key, which, to me, threads any group of individuals living under one roof, or in this case, a Christmas light adorned, hand painted RV.
Here now in Salt Lake City I peel away with the gained knowledge that lonesomeness is a place where you can check-in or -out of at any time but families, like ‘em or not, remain.
Long live the open road.
Bill Kotsatos is a New York based documentary photographer and photojournalist whose images have appeared in Businessweek, Time, The New York Times Lens blog and The New York Daily News and featured in Newsweek Japan’s 2011 Pictures of the Year issue. He contributes to Falcon Photo Agency and Polaris Images, as well as various newspapers.