I was first drawn to Kirk’s work years ago when I saw his Great Recession: Dealership Wreck. The stunning emptiness and overwhelming sense of loss that he captured was interesting to me. I watched as the series grew into a larger narrative about the economy, the culture of consumption and the ideas of an uncertain moral, emotional and physical landscape. Kirk’s portraits are intimate, exposing the soul of who is in front of his lens. His connection leads us to believe we can connect with his subject as well, understanding their pain, their frustrations and ultimately their dignity as they move forward into this uncharted landscape. Take a look.
Bank Rupture began in 2012 as Stockton, California (which 60 Minutes dubbed the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis and GQ declared the worst place to live in America) was teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy. A portrait of an All-American city transformed into the largest municipality in American history to declare bankruptcy, this project looks at the aftermath of the economic crisis through a city caught in the crush. Inspired by the Dust Bowl photographs of the Great Depression, the photographs reflect a landscape and people awash in crime, economic devastation, and hopelessness.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Kirk Crippens had an early start with photography, inspired by his grandfather who photographed for the US military and kept a darkroom in his closet after his service. As a college student Crippens ventured into photojournalism, interning at prestigious newspapers around the US. Based in San Francisco since 2000 he focused his efforts on personal projects. In 2010 he exhibited in thirteen shows, three were solo exhibitions. He was also named Top 50 Photographer in Photolucida’s Critical Mass, nominated for the 2011–2013 Eureka Fellowship Program, and invited to speak during PhotoAlliance’s Spring Lecture series at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2011 he was included in eighteen exhibitions-three were solo shows. He was also named Top 50 Photographer in Critical Mass for the second consecutive year, nominated for Photolucida’s book prize, and exhibited in the International Photography Festival in Lishui, China. In 2012 he was the artist-in-residence at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco and was featured in twelve exhibitions, including a solo exhibition at the Pingyao Photo Festival in Pingyao, China. In 2013 he will travel to Portland, Oregon as the artist-in-residence at Newspace Center for Photography and is currently scheduled for seven exhibitions.
For more of Kirk’s images, check out his website.