As a follow-up to American Ruins, I spent three years exploring ruins in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. My journey took me to more than thirty sites in sixteen countries and resulted in Lost Worlds, published by ACC in 2011.
Photographing ruins merges my passions for history and photography. I’m drawn to these sites to commune with those who came before us, preserve what they left behind, and restore what they’ve built to our collective memory. In this act of creation, I confront my own mortality and become most alive.
In making these images, I expanded on a tradition established by pioneering photographers such as Claude Joseph Desire Charnay and Alfred Percival Maudslay. Now it’s my turn, using technology they never could have imagined, to respond to a question posed in 1855 by Abel Fletcher, a writer for the Photographic and Fine Art Journal. His query, a plea really, seems just as relevant now as it did then:
“Are not these monuments of former ages calling upon us, as artists, to come and secure their shadows by the pencil ray of Heaven, ere their crumbling forms shall pass away forever?”