06 October 2016 // Sanne Schrijver //Amersfoort
Nat Ward lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and is a documentary photographer. Driven by a desire to incorporate specific places into his life story, he has traveled to and spent time photographing New York City, the Californian desert, and many other sites he has passed through on road trips. One such place he continues to return to, Delray Beach, Florida.
For his series “Delray: Hot and Slow” he photographed the people of Delray Beach.
The city was named the drug recovery capital of the United States since 2007. There is a feeling around the people who believe, even momentarily, in a kind of redemption. There is the flatness, the boredom, the numbness, the doubt, and ever-present temptation. It is droning and infinite. In a way, it’s a bargain where you choose boredom over death. The people just wait for something that will keep you making that choice. In the project statement, Ward comments on the exhausting daily struggle involved in abstaining from addiction reflected in the photographs.
Ward’s work shares certain processes and styles with traditional documentary photography. He maintains that while photography is based off of reality, it remains closer to a work of fiction. A photograph, he says, is just an object. However, that in it self is huge, since anyone can view a photograph and be deeply affected by it in their own way.