Custom vans, conversion vans, striped, off-white, mural painted-on vans! Though they are unique individuals, these vans do have something in common, they all enjoy that California sun…some, a bit too much! These square photographs, captured on 120 film, are part of a 15-years-and-counting project by filmmaker/photographer Joe Stevens!
In the project, that commenced in 1996, Stevens aims to draw out and expand “the dialogue which exists between a van’s design aesthetic and that of its surrounding environment.” Some of the vans, featured in the series, have tinted windows. Most are tinted with rust owing to that hot, desert, sun and small-rock packed dust that’s kicked up and slammed against their body, by their mismatched wheels.
Besides the nature captured in the backdrop, in form of rock formations and palm trees (at least we assume they’re real), this photo project truly is organic. Since Stevens began the project over a decade ago, the vans and the film format on which the images are captured have become less and less. In light of the shift in
gears style, over the years the project has been active, Stevens states “the goal of the project is to one day shoot the last remaining van on the final frame of photographic film in existence. Then the project will be finished.” A bit sad to think about, but if it means there are a lot more shots to be taken down that long road still in front of Stevens, the van, and film, then we’re in for the ride!
Stevens’ photographic work has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in Nylon and in the Guardian. You can view his photo project on californiavans.
Information for this article was taken from this post in featureshoot.