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Midwest Memoir

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Midwest Memoir Photographs by Michael Knapstein
Midwest Memoir<br />
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There is a certain magic to the Midwest. <br />
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Honest. Modest. Understated. Sometimes unappreciated. Often overlooked.<br />
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I created Midwest Memoir as a way to help others see the Midwest in a whole new light. The Midwest in which I was raised. The Midwest that shaped my experiences and my artistic aesthetic. The Midwest the way I will always remember it, even though it continues to change around me.  <br />
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I think of the Midwest as being classic and timeless in nature. Therefore, I approached this project from a time-honored “straight photography” perspective in the spirit of Group f/64 and gave the work a modernist character with a strong formalist dimension. <br />
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My approach was informed by the work of mid-century modernists such as Adams, Weston, White, Strand and Evans.<br />
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To support this modernist aesthetic, I utilized a square format as an homage to the timeless work created with medium format Rolleiflex and Hasselblad cameras of that era. This look is enhanced with split toning that simulates the look of platinum printing. As a final touch, the images are printed on warm-tone matte paper that is reminiscent of vintage Agfa Portriga Rapid photographic paper.<br />
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I hope my images will give people everywhere a sense of what makes the Midwest so special. If you pause for a moment, perhaps you’ll feel the humid air of an approaching thunderstorm, or catch the smell of fresh laundry as it dries in the summer breeze. That is my Midwest Memoir.