Lucas FogliaSecond Prize Professional Commission
Lucas Foglia, born 1983, graduated with a MFA in Photography from Yale University and with a BA in Art Semiotics from Brown University. His photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and are in the permanent collections of the Denver Art Museum, Foam Fotograﬁemuseum Amsterdam, International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Victoria and Albert Museum. Foglia’s ﬁrst monograph, A Natural Order (2012), and his second monograph,
Frontcountry (2014), were published by Nazraeli Press. He is represented by Fredericks and Freiser Gallery, New York, and Michael Hoppen, London.
Frontcountry is a portrait of the people who live in the rural American West today, and the ways they share and depend on a landscape that is famous for being wild. The areas I photographed between 2006 and 2013 are some of the least populated regions in the United States. When I ﬁrst visited, I expected to meet cowboys trailing animals past ghost towns and wilderness. But while the ranchers I met were ﬁghting the economy and the weather, almost everyone could get a job at the mines. Coal, oil, natural gas and gold were booming.
In the American West, ranching and mining have had parallel histories, though they share a common landscape. Cowboys, with their ranching culture, are the chosen representatives, but the biggest proﬁts are in mining but every mine closes eventually. When a mine closes, the land is scarred, the company leaves and people have to move. Miners are the modern day nomads, following jobs across the country.
I grew up on a small farm in Long Island. By growing our food, my family felt independent of the supermarkets and the suburbs around us. The forest that bordered the farm was my childhood wilderness, a place to play that was ignored by our neighbours who commuted to New York City.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy ﬂooded our ﬁelds and blew down the oldest trees in the woods. On the news, scientists linked the storm to climate change, caused by human activity. I realized if climate change is changing weather, then there is no place on earth, no matter how wild it looks, unaltered by people.
For the past four years I have travelled between cities and wilderness, looking at people and looking at nature in a world shaped by us. My goal is to create a global portrait of our relationship with nature, and to present an image for a possible, positive future.