Inside this issue
Joel Truckenbrod is a black and white landscape photographer currently working in the state of Minnesota. He strives to create images that are personally meaningful and deeply felt.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
We had a really good response to Matt Payne’s Portrait of Joel; some of you were pleased to hear from him again, and others delighted to be introduced to his work. New website aside, you won’t find out a lot about Joel through a web search, so we’re fortunate that the timing has been right for him to agree to a full interview.
In preparing this, it’s been a pleasure to spend time looking through Joel’s website on a large monitor. A very immersive experience, and one that really highlights the shortcomings of viewing photography on social media. Do look at his work on the biggest screen you have.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, your education and early interests, and what that led you to do?
Absolutely. I was born, raised and currently reside in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of the state of Minnesota, located along the north-central border of the United States. It’s an understated landscape, where farmland transitions to deciduous forest and then to boreal forest, as you progress north. As a place, it tends to be a bit topographically challenged (i.e. flat), but has a wealth of lakes, rivers and waterways.
My early interests have included the visual arts in various forms - mostly gravitating toward 2D art, such as drawing and painting. I’ve always been compelled to create, even from a young age. Beyond that, spending time outdoors and exploring the natural world have been important to me. Some of my fondest early memories are of biking late into the evening on summer nights, near my childhood home.
How did photography come to take a grip on you beyond that of your studies in art? I’ve read about a camping trip with a friend who told you to bring a camera being important, but I’m not sure if the transition had already begun?