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Arnaud Montagard's photographs of an American road trip

August 14, 2023

Leaving fast-paced New York City behind to set off on a journey across America, French photographer Arnaud Montagard captured a nostalgic side of America that Jack Kerouac might have experienced back in the 1950s.


With classic visual themes of Americana and some inspiration from those Beat poets, the images in his series, The Road Not Taken, could have been taken six decades ago, given their vintage charm. But all come with Arnaud's unique style – still life playing on light and shadow, against pastel-coloured backdrops or perhaps lone figures caught up in their own thoughts. One might almost be looking at an Edward Hopper painting when appreciating the timeless elegance of each image. Or perhaps see echos of pioneering colour photographers such as Stephen Shore and William Eggleston.

Currently living in Brooklyn, New York, Arnaud's photography focuses on composition and details, creating an atmosphere that is often referencing the work of famous American realist painters. There's an emphasis on minimalism, too, but there's beauty in the ordinary details he picks out. "My work is above all a story about light," he tells Creative Boom. "The strong shadows create a feeling that make the pictures look like paintings."

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