Photographer Greg Stimac's newest show, "Mowing the Lawn," opens Fri. Mar. 23 at Bucket Rider Gallery, 835 W. Washington, and runs thru April 28. A Columbia College graduate (BFA), Stimac has shown his photography extensively in Chicago and abroad. His work is included in the Museum of Contemporary Photography's collection as well as in private collections in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and New York City.
Bucket Rider co-directors Andrew Rafacz and Keith Couser have astutely observed of Stimac's work: "At a time when visual information, in the form of television and film, is iterated ad infinitum and ultimately emptied out, Stimac builds a larger essay by documenting and editing his visual environment, giving us a richer understanding of ourselves."
To view Stimac's photography visit his website at gregstimac.com.
Q: To me, mowing the lawn is a peaceful practice. Being alone within a monotonous act with only your own thoughts as company — especially if you have headphones on. What do you feel about the "aloneness" of the practice of mowing the lawn?
Stimac: In addition to having to mow my parent's lawn, I used to be a lawn-boy while in high school, and I hated it. It seemed a very pointless and ridiculous activity. Mowing meditation. It's nice to get outside in the sun, the smell of fresh cut grass is invigorating!
Q: Mowing the lawn is an extremely public act. All the neighbors know when you're cutting the lawn. No doubt, mowing the lawn acts as a sort of communication amongst neighbors. What do you think it's communicating?
Stimac: I love how it causes a chain reaction. One guy starts in and then the neighbors start their engines. People sometimes take their lawns extremely seriously. The front yard can certainly reflect the personality of the owner. If our grass looks good so do we!
Q: Please tell me you've found nothing political in the art of lawn mowing. Or have you?
Stimac: I think these photographs can be viewed as political. I hope they ask the viewer to take a critical look at the front yard of the American dream, a slice of who some of us are and where we live at the beginning of the 21st Century. Or, they could be enjoyed at surface, simply action photographs of people mowing their grass across the country.