Bill Owens: “American Photography and the American Dream” (excerpt) (1991)

The people in Owen’s book Suburbia, are still under the “spell” of the American Dream. They live in California suburban communities where, according to Owens, “everyone… lives ‘the good life’, which means having attractive homes, high paying jobs, swimming pools and shiny cars.”   By James Guimond, excerpt from American Photography and the American Dream, […]

Interview with Bill Owens on Photographing the Suburban Soul (2005)

 “I enjoy cooking, dogs, cats, kids, soccer, and living here.” “No one would have predicted I would succeed at anything.” Interview by Robert Hirsch of Light Research Bill Owens’s Suburbia (1972) is a quintessential photographic study of suburban California life and of its rituals. Owens followed with Our Kind of People (1975), which examined political, […]

BILL OWENS: “American Fine Arts” (1994)

Fourth of July Block Party, 1970 from the series Suburbia Bill Owens – American Fine Arts, New York, New York, Originally published in ArtForum, December 1994 By Neville Wakefield Though conspicuously absent from public collections, Bill Owens’ photo-chronicles of middle America belong alongside those of the better known “social landscape” photographers of the ’60s and […]

BILL OWENS: “Leisure – A Particular Kind of Strangeness” (2005)

From the Working series By Gregory Crewdson A family of three carefully unfolds rolls of sod onto their barren front yard transforming it into a small domestic oasis. A man ascends a bare, undersized tree in an absurd attempt to prune its dead leaves. A young boy sits on his Big Wheel holding a toy […]

Bill Owens – ‘Suburbia’ (2000)

  “The photographs for Suburbia weren’t done by accident. I put together a shooting script of events that I wanted to photograph… Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Birthdays, et cetera.”   By Cynthia Morrill, Ph.D. In 1972, while a news photographer for the Livermore Independent, Bill Owens made the photographs that comprise Suburbia. Initially presented […]