Justin Hamm's photography and poetry show, Midwestern, depicts the rural and rustic beauty and decay of Missouri and Illinois through camera and pen. Drawn from his time intentionally lost on the backroads of the states he knows best, Hamm’s work, visual and verbal, is equal parts inspection of the American mythos and testament against the worn-out adage that the Midwest is merely “flyover country.”
I began taking photographs mainly as a way to capture imagery for use in my poetry and fiction. Over time, I found I enjoyed taking photographs as an artistic pursuit it its own right. When I am out on the rural routes of Missouri, Illinois, and elsewhere, I think a lot about America, our past, present, and future. How our stubborn past is both a blessing and a curse. I also think about how overlooked the American Midwest can be as a place of drama and beauty. I hope these pictures cause viewers to slow down and pay attention to the details in this region.