Spirit of the Southern Speedways.
Spirit of the Southern Speedways
Reel Art Press
9781909526648, $39.95, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Photographer Hunter Barnes is one of the foremost documentary photographers working in America today. For the publication of his photographic compendium, "Spirit of the Southern Speedways", Barnes was given extraordinary access to document NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) culture. In order to capture the true essence of NASCAR, Barnes went on the road with the Ganassi team, spending time in the parking lot with fans for a week before the race to really get a sense of the spirit of the culture and how it originally started? in the South, with the moonshiners building cars to outrun the revenuers.
"Spirit of the Southern Speedways" presents an exhilarating photographic essay of racing culture and gives an intimate and insider look at NASCAR, capturing some of the most recognizable figures in racing, including Richard "The King" Petty, the legend Junior Johnson who has won 50 races as a driver and 139 as an owner, Jack Roush, the owner of Roush Fenway Racing team and famed race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
"Spirit of the Southern Speedways" also reflects on the intimate relationship between the fans and the drivers.
Barnes is known for photographically documenting American communities that have been ignored or misrepresented by the mainstream media, including the dying communities of the Old West, and inmates in the California State Prison. "Spirit of the Southern Speedways" ably continues this quest with its focus on a distinctive cultural subgenera--southern stock car racing.
Critique: Of immense interest for automotive racing enthusiasts and aspiring photographers, "Spirit of the Southern Speedways" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary American Photography collections.