Chasing America

by Bobby Abrahamson

"OK, so Robert Frank is my photograph­ic hero, and The Americans is my favorite photo book. Nothing original there. There's also nothing original about traveling across America, trying to make a photographic portrait of the country in the spirit of Robert Frank and Walker Evans. But how about doing it all from a Greyhound bus?"

Photographer Bobby Abrahamson, based in Atlanta, Georgia, wanted to see America and wanted to photograph what he saw not unlike two of his favorite photographers. He bought an Ameripass ticket from Greyhound — $479 for 60 days of unlimited travel. "Anywhere — anytime. Just go to the nearest bus station — get in line and wait for the next bus,"Abrahamson explained.

This past summer's journey started in Florida and ended in California with stops in between. He rode the bus from Key West to Boston through Houston and up to Seattle. Abrahamson stated, "As you look at my images, be conscious that my driving force in making these images is to create an interpretive por­trait of America - much in the tradition of Robert Frank and Walker Evans. I consider the bus simply a vehicle - in a literal and figurative sense — one that is enabling me to travel and photograph the country from a different perspective." He continued, "I would suggest that what I am seeing is 'the real America' - or per­haps more accurately 'another America' — one that many Americans would prefer to avoid."

At the end of his journey, Abraham-son wrote, "My bus ticket is over. I feel like I was looking for something that I did not quite find. It's hard to explain. Maybe it would be some sort of consis­tent peace and bliss about being alone on the road — maybe it has something to do with finding awesome pictures every day."