David Opdyke’s Americana Postcards Include an Environmental Twist

There are greater than 500 postcards in David Opdyke’s haunting and highly effective work, This Land. Every classic postcard from the early to mid-20th century is a slice of Americana. Pictures of vacationers and vacationers having fun with the promise of the wide-open expanses of America’s backcountry and a few of its prettiest nationwide parks. 16 toes by eight toes, it’s an enormous assortment, a mosaic of nostalgia.


Upon extra cautious inspection, the postcards have been painted over by Opdyke to mirror a future atmosphere in disaster. Damaging useful resource extraction is rampant with fossil gasoline pipes snaking via cities and over cherished pure landmarks. Quite a few wildfires, highly effective tornadoes, and rising seas—all doubtless in retailer for future generations within the coming a long time—have been added into the as soon as harmless and carefree scenes.

Opdyke’s imaginative and prescient is the precise reverse of the promising, shiny and shining future these postcards had been initially meant to convey with American pleasure bursting and a seemingly limitless pure world there for our pleasure. In set up, lots of the postcards have dropped from the wall they had been as soon as glued to, a certain nod to the sensation that issues are slipping, turning into unglued.

The title is a reference to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” and it means, properly, precisely what it says. “This land, that is what we’ve obtained. That is it,” says Opdyke.

“These older postcards present a world filled with promise and potential, and a perception in the advantages of progress and improvement,” Opdyke informed AJ. “Seeing them now feels nostalgic, as a result of issues haven’t turned out so properly, and we need to climb again into the optimism of the previous.”

Opdyke put his work in its entirety on his web site and invitations the viewer to zoom in, spend a while with the pictures. It may be considered right here.

All photographs courtesy of the artist.

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