American Idyll

All images are 25 x 20 in. archival pigment prints, made from Canon 5d Mark III digital files and printed on Hahnemuhle German Etching Fine Art Paper.

American Idyll is a look at rural America through the nostalgic lens of an imagined pastorale history. I began this series after my husband and I drove through the Hudson River Valley on our way from Burlington, Vermont, to New York City. The landscape was so stunningly beautiful, lush and green, with sweeping vistas and beautiful little red farm houses, that I wanted to pull over the the side of the road every three feet. We were under time constraints, but resolved to return to the region so I could explore.

To me, rural New England and New York State towns feel like stepping back in time, to a world more innocent and quaint than the modern industrial complex. The nature seems unspoiled and full of possibility. It is an impression which belies the falsehood of both images, both present and past. Miles of corn are not for human consumption, but to feed chickens in a massive industrial chicken farm. A new coat of paint masks poverty and disrepair. It is a nostalgia for escape into a world that never existed.

This nostalgia takes on a particular urgency in the present moment. The photographs here were taken in 2017, as various groups of the American public grappled with feelings about the current presidency. Near an historic and picturesque dam and a quietly flowing river, sits a house with a makeshift piece of fence in the front yard which reads "Lock her up". A truck with a confederate flag in the window drives by. I can't help but understand, in the face of this beauty and in the remaining traces of history, the desperate hope that turning back the clock is possible.

© Diana Cheren Nygren - White Farm House

White Farm House

© Diana Cheren Nygren - On The Farm

On The Farm

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Idyll


© Diana Cheren Nygren - Red Barn

Red Barn

© Diana Cheren Nygren - God Bless

God Bless

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Do Not Enter

Do Not Enter

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Road to Nowhere

Road to Nowhere

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Behind the White Picket Fence 2

Behind the White Picket Fence 2

© Diana Cheren Nygren - White Picket Fence

White Picket Fence

© Diana Cheren Nygren - The End of the Road

The End of the Road

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Chicken Farm 1

Chicken Farm 1

© Diana Cheren Nygren - I can See For Miles

I can See For Miles

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Chicken Mark 3

Chicken Mark 3

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Modern Transportation

Modern Transportation

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Black Bird Landing

Black Bird Landing

© Diana Cheren Nygren - No Turn On Red

No Turn On Red

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Not Your Corn

Not Your Corn

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Over Hill and Dale

Over Hill and Dale

© Diana Cheren Nygren - Chicken Farm 2`

Chicken Farm 2`

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