Phil Donohue’s bold and kinetic images were taken mostly along Route 66; whilst the road holds a wistful and iconic grasp on people’s notions of traditional Americana, O’Donoghue found that the site was abandoned for the sake of progress. Conjuring a bygone spirit the country, the images reflect this sense of stippling anonymity and recession.
Route 66 elucidates all kinds of questions about journeys – whether literal or metaphorical. This sense of passage conjures an ethereal, almost lifeless plane which mirrors the artist’s willingness to confront nostalgia and reckon with the past. Capturing days past, and buildings reduced to ghostly exteriors, Donohue reflects upon memory as a flexible, movable vehicle of preconception.
The buildings featured in Donohue’s work include structures designed by Taliesin Associated Architects (a firm established after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright to carry on his architectural legacy). Evoking the vision of Wright – a man whose work lives on in buildings he didn’t even conceive – further adds to the intriguing layers of time and formal decline.
1. All images courtesy of Phil Donohue.