Traveling the US with Freight Train Riders
Mike Brodie aka the Polaroid Kidd, is a photographer from the United States. At age 17 (or 18 depending on which interview you read) he hopped his first train, that was 2002. Since then he has traveled over 50,000 miles through 46 states by train and documented the entire experience.
From 2004-2006, Brodie shot exclusively with a Polaroid SX-70 earning him the moniker the Polaroid Kidd which he would tag on boxcars and walls. Later that year, the film for his camera was discontinued and he switched to a 1980 Nikon F3 with 35mm film which he shot with for three years until he stopped train riding in 2009.
The photographs taken during this period have culminated in a concurrent exhibition at the M+B Gallery in Los Angeles and the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York. A 104-page hardcover book entitled, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, published by Twin Palms has also just been released.
M+B Gallery, Los Angeles: March 16 – May 11, 2013
Yossi Milo Gallery: March 7 – April 6, 2013
A Period of Juvenile Prosperity published by Twin Palms
Visit Mike Brodie’s official website at: http://mikebrodie.net
A Period of Juvenile Prosperity by Mike Brodie
The photographs document a period of transition in Brodie’s life—just after puberty and just before manhood—when hitchhiking for the thrill of the open road, catching rides on freight trains bound for another nowhere town, eating the food left to rot by others and drinking the cheapest alcohol that crosses your lips seems like a perfectly logical and honest way to spend your days. Brodie’s tableau repurposes symbols of decline—trains, Polaroids, 35mm film, thrift store clothes—into a seemingly alluring form of ad hoc glamour and freedom tinged with punk rock idealism.
The characters drift through post-industrial America. The result: a balance of comeliness and crustiness, filth and beauty, all finely measured by movement, a desire to move on and, at some point, move out of the picture. Although Brodie was never trained, his photographs are an honest and sincere look at the practice of photography that can only come from historical unawareness of the medium. [Source: M+B Gallery]