On the sidelines: another America in the lens of punk photographer Mike BrodyPictolic
Mike Brody left home at the age of 18, and then his journey began. Trains and people who travel with their help (not quite legal methods) - for four years Mike wandered around America, photographing his random fellow travelers. Since his journey ended, he has not picked up a camera for five years.
Mike was born in 1985 in Florida. On the Internet, he is better known as The Polaroid Kidd. His photographs are the story of a non-existent country inside the United States, which is inhabited by those whom the American dream has thrown on the sidelines, those who are always on the road, for whom life is an incessant search and movement (often in a direction known only to them).
These people have their own understanding of happiness, which is not very similar to the" hamburgers " of Republicans and Democrats. They don't have to go home, because their home is always behind them, and everything they need is placed in their chest. The photographer only offers you to look into the eyes of these travelers.
For Mike, these people are much more interesting than the perfectly shaven inhabitants of cities — all these extinct slave creatures whose life is a copier, a TV and a blow — job after working in a successful corporation. His photos urge us to free ourselves from the patterns in our heads.
When traveling with Mike, his friend Polaroid SX was always with him. "I love polaroids. Anyone who thinks that all these modern things are vital to him, let him come to my exhibition, " says Brody.
I was born in Mesa, Arizona, in 1985. I've never seen the Grand Canyon. My grandmother drove trucks, and my grandfather loved racing cars. My grandmother died of cancer, she let me pluck her hair. Grandpa once touched my penis, I never saw him again.
My dad said that he was stoned when he married my mother, said that he "fucked hundreds of bitches". Once he flew out of the car, smashed his head through the windshield and survived. He was fighting with five policemen in our kitchen, the whole door of my bedroom was covered with traces of"cherry". Dad went to prison.
I fell in love with a girl named Sabrina, and once we ate ice cream together, with one spoon. She was wearing bright pink tights. Her mother was friends with my mother. She became a drug addict. I saw her mother selling a ring for a dime. I thought she sold it for a dime.
I hadn't seen Sabrina for many years, and then somehow accidentally bumped into her. She had black lipstick, she was a goth. She gave me her phone number, but I never called. In the second grade, I was caught masturbating right in class.
In the fourth grade, I won first place in an essay contest. The class teacher taught me that wearing the same pants for two weeks in a row is normal, it has become my principle. In the fifth grade, I started wearing glasses. In the seventh grade, I wrote the word KORN on my knuckles, as the name of the group, with an inverted R. I did this only because I saw the inscription on the fingers of another guy.
In 1996, my dad got out of prison and took me to the movie "Tornado". He stole a BMX bike and gave it to me for my birthday. I had to return it.
My mom had a boyfriend who took her to nude beaches; she had a boyfriend who broke his leg while skydiving; she had a boyfriend who said he was a Marine, that he performed at the Tour de France, that we would have purple suits for the wedding. He was lying — fuck him. I saw my mother kissing a Mexican tramp. I wish my mom had a boyfriend right now.
Mom cries if I remember only bad things — for example, when dad came home and his mouth smelled of gasoline, because he sucked it for his red El Camino 2. Mom was reborn in faith, so I was reborn. I was baptized, fully clothed, and I began to believe in God. Mom stopped drinking.
Mom worked hard: she wiped old people's asses and cleaned their houses. I told her I'd wipe her ass when she got old; she said she'd rather die.
Dad went to prison again — for nine years. I visited him four times and cried once. My mother, my brother Jake, and I moved to Florida when I was fifteen. The bright white sand hurt my eyes. I got a job packing groceries in a store. At school, I won first place in a drawing competition and first place in a BMX competition. I packed groceries and rode a bike.
I didn't like girls, but then I met Savannah. She was a punk. She took my virginity; I was seventeen. We tried to have sex on the bathroom sink, and it broke off from the wall. I lied to my mother about how the sink broke. Savannah taught me how to drive a car and took me to my first punk concert. I was fired from my job, I dropped out of school in the 12th grade and stopped believing in God.
I was arrested for graffiti. A friend gave me a Polaroid camera that I found in the back seat of her car. I took a picture of the handle of my bike, and it turned out amazing, so I started shooting. A guy named Gabe gave me my first tattoo, I got on a train and left for Jacksonville.
I moved to Philadelphia and lived with an underground rock band. I returned to Florida.
In the summer, in the hottest weather, I jumped on a train that was going to New Orleans, and photographed a girl named Ali there. She was very beautiful. She had a tattoo on her arm. Three days later, a hurricane hit New Orleans. I didn't photograph this.
I went to San Francisco and there I gave some guy to take my cock in his mouth, but I'm not gay. I took a picture of it on my Polaroid.
I was photographing Monica with her bird, and she introduced me to Paul. Paul likes what I do.
I moved to Philadelphia and got a tattoo on my arm like Ali's. Then I took a picture of a guy who liked my tattoo on his arm. I gave him the same one; maybe someone later got a tattoo like his.
Polaroid stopped shooting, and I bought myself a Nikon for $ 150. I've traveled 50,000 miles on trains and taken 7,000 photos. I took first place and won $ 10,000 in a photo contest. I gave the money to my mother.
I became famous on the Internet.
I deleted my website, stopped taking pictures, went back to school, became a rolling stock mechanic.
I quit my job as a mechanic, but I learned how diesel locomotives work. I started taking pictures again.
Paul introduced me to Jack. Jack has been publishing books for thirty years. He prints a collection of my photos. I'm not thinking about getting rich, but I want to make a million dollars.
I don't want to be famous, but I hope that my work will be remembered forever. I'm not sure I want anyone to read this.