Photographer of the Week #9: Matt Gainer

This week we present a portion of Matt Gainer‘s series titled, Imperial Pictures. He’s a Los Angeles based photographer whose work explores social & political movements, religious communities, and tensions between people and the environments they occupy — with particular focus on California and the American West.

Matt tells us, “I began photographing and doing oral-history interviews in Imperial Valley, CA. in 2009 — drawn by curiosity about the impulses that draw people to such difficult terrain, and about the kinds of psychological spaces and physical geographies they navigate to create a sense of place, value and community once they settle.

I received a California Story Fund grant from the California Council for the Humanities to support the project during 2009-2010, and additional support in the form of a Faculty Research Award from the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture Interdisciplinary Research Group for 2011. Portions of the project were exhibited in 2011: first in a two-person exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu, Romania, and recently in a group exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography.”