Roe Ethridge’s American Polychronic is an extensive catalogue spanning the artist’s entire career, presenting works from 2000 to 2021. Ethridge’s approach to photography is an exercise in audacity and experimentation, a relentless search for new ways of seeing and interpreting the world. Through the reproduction and recombination of images, Ethridge transforms the banal into the extraordinary and unprecedented, creating a visual dance that challenges convention and reveals the multiple dimensions of reality.
Ethridge’s visual language is a mosaic of influences, a kaleidoscope of styles and genres. He skilfully juxtaposes images from the worlds of art, fashion and advertising, merging them with fragments of everyday life and personal moments. The result is an eclectic and extraordinarily engaging visual narrative that challenges traditional distinctions between high and low culture, between the ephemeral and the eternal.
The structure of the book is a work of art in itself. The personal photographs are arranged in chronological order, offering the reader a unique opportunity to follow Ethridge’s evolution over the years. This chronological sequence creates a kind of time travel, allowing the reader to peer into the evolution of his artistic vision, from his earliest explorations to his more mature and complex works. Against this chronological flow, the commercial images are arranged in reverse order, a bold innovation that generates an unprecedented visual dialogue between the two sequences. This choice highlights the tension between the personal and the public, the commercial and the artistic, inviting the reader to reflect on the multiple layers of meaning present in the images.
Alongside the images, the book offers further keys to interpretation. Jamieson Webster’s eloquent essay adds a critical dimension, analysing Ethridge’s work in depth and offering insights that enrich the viewing experience. The conversation between the author and Antwaun Sargent provides a personal and intimate perspective, allowing the reader to immerse themselves in Ethridge’s animated creative process, explore his inspirations and understand his visions.
American Polychronic is a celebration of the power of photography as a means of expression and as a vehicle for the transformation of our perception. Ethridge invites us to go beyond the surface of images and explore their potential to reveal new perspectives. With unparalleled skill, the artist guides us on a visual journey that resonates with energy and creativity, simultaneously challenging and inspiring. This book is a tribute to art as a vehicle for discovery and reinvention, a work that will continue to enchant and surprise for years to come.
Roe Ethridge is a postmodernist commercial and art photographer, known for exploring the plastic nature of photography – how pictures can be easily replicated and recombined to create new visual experiences.