My process is different every time. Sometimes I stumble upon places, objects or spaces that I then go back and photograph. I also do research and travel to cities in the U.S. that are historically known as industrial, like Bethlehem and Bath in Western Pennsylvania. I’m not actually looking for anything specific; there’s no predetermined idea in my mind. I walk around these industrial sites until I find the shapes and structures that are rich in lines and geometric forms. I often travel to New Jersey, mainly to Elizabeth. It’s a heavily industrial city, a blue-collar working-class city. A friend of mine wanted to come shoot with me one day—he’s from Cleveland, which is where I grew up. He found it hilarious that I moved from Cleveland to New York, because I keep going to places that look like Cleveland.
As a photographer, I’m visually attracted to the same things I found compelling when I thought I’d be an industrial designer. When I started art school, I realized I liked the medium of photography and its immediacy more than drawing. When I take photos of these places that already exist I can then see them through my own perspective, instead of re-creating them through a sketch or a drawing. The photographs featured in the show were taken in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania.
Factory Wall, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Crane 19, New York, New York
Pier D, New York, New York
Process Tank, Brooklyn, New York
An exhibition of Nathan Harger‘s photographs are on display at the Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York City until January 29, 2011.
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