Daily Picture Show

Vector Portraits

If you've ever taken a road trip — or if you've ever been in a car, for that matter — you've probably found yourself glancing curiously at passersby. Sometimes there's the awkward, accidental eye contact. Sometimes there's the unexpected: a woman curling her eyelashes, a man eating a bowl of cereal, or someone changing outfits behind the wheel. It's interesting that, only when alone in a car, do people sing really loud, as if completely alone and unseen.

  • Hide caption
    High school students facing north at 0 mph on Sepulveda Boulevard in Westwood, Calif., at 3:01 p.m. on a Saturday in February 1997
  • Hide caption
    Man driving southwest at approximately 72 mph on Interstate 40 in Arizona, on the 4th of July weekend in 1989
  • Hide caption
    Woman cruising south at 63 mph on the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles on a Saturday afternoon in 1991
  • Hide caption
    Man heading north at 66 mph on the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles in 1989
  • Hide caption
    Man drifting northwest at approximately 68 mph on U.S. Route 101 somewhere near Camarillo, Calif., on an evening in 1989
  • Hide caption
    Man drifting near the shoulder at 61 mph on Interstate 405 in Calif., at 4:01 p.m. on a Tuesday in September 1992
  • Hide caption
    Man and woman passing through the intersection of Cahuenga and Hollywood boulevards, Hollywood, at 33 mph on Feb. 14, 1997
  • Hide caption
    Family traveling northwest at 63 mph on Interstate 244 near Yale Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., at approximately 4:15 p.m. on the last day of 1991
  • Hide caption
    Man driving (with woman reading and parakeet clinging) southbound at 72 mph on Interstate 5 near Wheeler Ridge Road outside Bakersfield, Calif., at 3:37 p.m. on a weekday in July 1992
  • Hide caption
    Man finding his way south at 64 mph on Interstate 5 near Wildcat Canyon, Calif., on a Sunday in 1993
  • Hide caption
    Person driving somewhere in the 1990s
    whereabouts and date unknown
  • Hide caption
    Woman guiding her automobile down Washington Boulevard in Culver City, Calif., at 44 mph at 4:11 p.m. on Dec. 16, 1990
  • Hide caption
    Man traveling 73 mph toward an overpass on a Tuesday morning outside Portola Valley, Calif., on an afternoon in March 1992
  • Hide caption
    Woman heading west at 71 mph on Interstate 44 outside Rolla, Mo., at 11:43 a.m. in January 1991
  • Hide caption
    Mother trying to look after son at 31 mph on Rodeo Road in Los Angeles at 10:28 a.m. on a Tuesday in February 1997
  • Hide caption
    Man traveling southbound at 67 mph on U.S. Route 101 near Montecito, Calif., at 6:31 p.m. on or around the 28th of a summer month on a Sunday in 1994

1 of 18

View slideshow i

For full screen, click on the four-cornered arrow icon in the viewer's bottom right.

It's this ambiguous mobile world, both public and private, that fascinated photographer Andrew Bush. For nearly 10 years he did drive-by shootings — with a medium-format camera attached to the side of his car. Typically coasting at about 60 mph, he captured people doing various things in various places, sometimes looking straight at the camera. He took copious notes about location, direction and speed and compiled these photographs into an intriguing and quirky series called "Vector Portraits."

Quirky is what Bush does well. One series on his Web site shows rugs found all over the streets of Paris. Another is a collection of runners and in-line skaters whizzing by. He even has a page devoted to other Andrew Bushes found on the Internet. He's clearly fascinated by people — especially with the mystery of their private lives.

"Vector Portraits" is currently on display at both Yossi Milo Gallery and Julie Saul Gallery in New York. It was also recently published by Yale University Press in a book called Drive.

Images (c) Andrew Bush.

By Claire O'Neill

The Picture Show on Facebook or on Twitter

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.