Thursday, October 21, 2010

Damaged Goods (II)

Las Vegas, NM

Thrift Store, MO

Lawrence, KS

Overland Park, KS

This is another selection of images from my on-going series 'Damaged Goods'. More images from this series can be found in an earlier post to this blog or by visiting the website Aamora where I was a guest contributer in March of this year.

Aamora's excellent website can be found here:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Overland Park project featured at Urbanautica

Overland Park, KS

Overland Park, KS

Overland Park, KS

Overland Park, KS

Overland Park, KS (Best Buy)

Urbanautica is a research platform centered on photography and the human landscape. A navigation by sight, a trip around the ideas, people and what makes them part of nature and the world. Established through a website with the aim of promoting a critical reflection on the planet Earth, the site has already received significant recognition among photographers, magazines, blogs and websites from all over the world.


Overland Park, Kansas, has been consistently ranked in the top 10 best cities to live in the United States, by CNN/Money magazine. Additionally, the city was ranked one of the ‘best places to raise your kids’ and also ranked 3rd for ‘America’s 10 best places to grow up’.

"For some time we have observed with curiosity the patient work of Simon Kossoff. We like it because it is a determined slap in the face of reality or perhaps it is best to call it personality. Without melancholy, Kossoff creates with a lyrical precision that has become more refined over time, a mature vision with a narrative tension that is also soaked with poetic ambition. A subjectivity that is made up of silent traces isolated through intuition. The human landscape that he approaches through photography consists of colorful individualities and a macrorealism that pierces our sensibilities. Using razor-sharp details that scrape the surface of the banal. Kossoff makes skilled incisions into reality, finding essential spaces, briefly shooting, embedding the image with what feeds his own story. A fluent and fast paced vision, relentlessly alternating between a sob that first exposes your feelings and then defines them. What we see in this work on Overland Park is the intention of the photographer becoming stronger and gaining weight around curious, occasional and fragmented shots. Kossoff’s speech is never casual, it is a discontinuous process yet well-disciplined and that rarely stalls. Kossoff does not make fleeting statements but questions the viewer instantly and insistently. It is easy to be caught by surprise, a little unprepared, but that’s part of the game, the dialogue that expands the perception and reveals new possibilities."

This article with the images can be found here at Urbanautica’s website.

Many thanks to the Editor Steve Bisson

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Overland Park, KS (IX)

Grant Ave (home)

Garbage Area

Down-Town Overland Park

Central Library

Here is a selection of new images from my continuing series about Overland Park, Kansas, where I live.

Overland Park has been consistently ranked in the top 10 best cities to live in the United States, by CNN/Money magazine. Additionally, the city was ranked one of the ‘best places to raise your kids’ and also ranked 3rd for ‘America’s 10 best places to grow up’. As a photographer this news comes as an inspiration and something of a shock to me and I have decided to explore what it is that gives Overland Park this status.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Untitled Image

Friday 8th October 2010

"You see what you understand. You have to be prepared to see the world. The moment of clicking the camera is almost irrelevant. What is really important is what happens before and after you take the picture." Gabriel Orozco

Kansas City Zombie Walk





On Saturday I had the great pleasure of attending the Kansas City Zombie Walk. The Kansas City Zombie Walk for Hunger is in its third year running and has helped many people in the Kansas City Metropolitan Community who suffer from hunger or homelessness. I did not 'go zombie' myself, but I showed my support and made several photographs which they are more than welcome use to publicize their events.

A select edit of these pictures can be seen here at my agency/collective website 'Get the Picture'.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

West Bottoms, Kansas City

West Bottoms, KC, MO

West Bottoms, KC, MO

West Bottoms, KC, MO

Recently I made a couple of visits to the West Bottoms in Kansas City to begin making pictures for a group landscape exhibition which is planned for next year in Spain, which I have been invited to participate in. These images are preliminary sketches, to get a feel for this beautiful and sad place, before I begin working on the photographs I would like to submit to the show. Images which will until it's opening remain private.

HISTORY (taken from the West Bottoms website)

The West Bottoms is an industrial area immediately to the west of downtown Kansas City, Missouri at the confluence of the Missouri River and Kansas River. The area is one of the oldest areas in the city.

The West Bottoms was originally referred to as the “French Bottoms”. It was the site of trade between French trappers and Kansas Indians. The area was established by the trappers as an area of commerce. The West Bottoms became the receiving point for goods offloaded from steamships traveling upstream on the Missouri river due in part of the western immigration and trade with Mexico over the Santa Fe Trail. The importance of the area increased with the advent of the railroad. The stockyards (established in 1871) then chose to develop there because of the livestock that came in from the Southwest over the rails. A whole city grew around the stockyards. The Union Depot was built on Union Street where hotels, bars and restaurants flourished. Over 90 percent of the value in Kansas City lay in the West Bottoms. A devastating flood in 1903 ended the investment in housing, schools and churches. However, the agricultural, meat packing, freight and industrial investments continued to grow. By then the rule of thumb was clearly established namely the economic vitality of the city was determined by the economic progress of the West Bottoms.

With economic hard times the West Bottoms took a drastic hit. The first economic blow came with the ending of World War II. There were over 20 thousand jobs lost when the extensive military construction in the city suddenly ceased. The second economic blow came in 1951 with a major flood. Packing companies and supportive industries moved out of the area and many closed their doors forever. The combination of these two events was cataclysmic. There were 50,000 jobs lost in the span of 5-6 years and the city was half the size it is now. With the job loss people stopped shopping downtown. With the economic downsizing the city slipped and was unable to save itself and collapsed. Because the city’s tax base crumbled it could no longer maintain its streets, bridges or engage in meaningful investments.