Rear and front car headlights compete with the yellow of streetlights, traces of other passing cars, a camera flash, and the fog of photographic film. What they illuminate isn’t exactly clear; they seem to light an empty stage. Off-stage white boys in Japanese cars perform displaced masculinity and picture-perfect women perform a different kind of displaced masculinity. Harvey’s photos of these models are less than a fraction of a degree shy of the images of the same models that might populate the magazine rack at a 7–11. In his photographs, a fantasy is performed that is well-suited for the fantastic pictorial space of the image, coyly unhinged and re-hinged from the images these men imagine themselves in. They fantasize of fast and furious engines, wet tits, and clean semen. Each image seems like a cropped billboard, Harvey’s camera exposing subliminal hieroglyphics of a culture almost at ruin. It’s no surprise that the photographer’s last picture book explored the fantasy of his own wife, the optical eye’s drabness willing the mechanical one to see more color and sex. Everything is off just enough.
09.05.2014 — Photography