Photographer Hunter Barnes (born 1977) has an extraordinary ability to document aspects of culture and communities ignored by the mainstream and often misrepresented in the modern American narrative. In this most recent work, he explores the Las Vegas that was. These photographs celebrate the old Vegas, the people who shaped the town in its heyday. Not much of it remains, but here are the people and landmarks that endure today—that represent the life "Off the Strip." Hunter's powerful portraits remember those in "the greatest town you could live in [where] the spirit of old Las Vegas still remains."
In his early twenties, Barnes self-published his first book, Redneck Roundup, documenting the dying communities of the Old West. Other projects followed: four years spent with the Nez Perce tribe; months with a serpent handling congregation in the Appalachian mountains; bikers, lowriders, and street gangs; inmates in California State Prison. Intense, true pockets and sub-cultures of America. Barnes shoots exclusively on film, the pace of analogue in harmony with his approach. Fundamental to his work is the journey, the people, the place—and committing them to film before they are greatly changed or gone forever.
Hunter Barnes: Tickets gives readers a glimpse into the surreal world of the American traveling carnival, a vibrant community most had thought lost half a century ago.
The result of documentary photographer Hunter Barnes’ (born 1977) time on the road with the World of Wonder Sideshow, Tickets captures the people and places of the traveling circus’s grittier sibling. The sword swallowers, fire eaters and tattooed ladies are all here, defiant and exuberant, captured in striking portraits.
Barnes has long been drawn to documenting aspects of culture and communities ignored or misrepresented by the mainstream American narrative. Starting with his first self-published photobook Redneck Roundup, Barnes has always sought out tiny pockets of American subcultural activity: he has photographed bikers, lowriders, street gangs and inmates in California State Prison—working always on film, matching his analogue process to his slow, intensive methodology.