Trucking as Art

An image from the series Hurry Up and Wait.


“We all have an idea of what a truck driver’s like when we’re a kid – but we don’t really know much about them.”

As Frank Tribble explained in an NPR interview, he and his wife Tracey Mancenido decided to remedy that.

“These guys and women,” he explained, “they’re like the backbone of our economy.” To that his wife added, “What we wanted to do … was step away from the stereotypes of truck driving.”

Tribble is the son of a trucker, so he probably understood more than most. But he wanted to learn even more about what it’s like to be a truck driver. So he and his wife, both photographers, decided to find out first-hand. The two spend more than a year on the road, as truckers, producing “Hurry Up Wait,” a series of photos on display at New York City’s Sasha Wolf Gallery.

You can view a slideshow of 15 photos at www.tribblemancenido.com/portfolios/4231-hurry-up-wait, where they describe Hurry Up Wait as “an ongoing personal and poetic meditation of America’s trucking culture.”

These photos often deal with the details of a trucker’s life. A fuel island, isolated in a pool of light against the deep black of night. A trucker standing in a truckstop parking lot, the background obscured by fog. A fifth wheel. The inside of an empty trailer. The rainbow of oily water on asphalt.

As Ami Kealoha describes in an article on www.coolhunting.com, “Inspired by the contrasting loneliness of their experience, Mancenido and Tribble’s stark images depict subjects removed from their familiar contexts and (more often than not) plopped right in the center of the frame.”

The photographers put it this way on their website: “With the long tradition of road photography ever present in mind, we spent over a year driving across the states as truck drivers. “These images are a semblance of the world we entered, exploring the subculture that drives our economy. We illuminate the openness of the road and it’s lonesome journey, hoping our images bring new light to the harsh beauty in the world of a truck driver.”

You can read more on their blog at http://tribblemancenido.blogspot.com.

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