Martin Buday – Stay Golden

I enjoy the work of photographers who seem to be able to create their own universe through their photos. I get that sense while looking at Martin Buday’s ‘Stay Golden.’ The photographs are reminiscent of the work of Eggleston, Stephen Shore, and Ed Panar, a style I appreciate when done well. It’s challenging to shake off the shackles of influence, but from reading Martin’s thoughts on the project I think he’s on the path to creating something interesting.

Stay Golden suggests ideas of the uncertainties and vulnerabilities of existing in the world through the direct and curious observation of our everyday environment. The title comes from some graffiti I came across referencing a quote from the novel The Outsiders. These images loosely depict everyday struggle and the desire to remain “golden” — innocent and pure in a world of insecurities.

The series is an ongoing photographic survey of everyday Americana: overlooked places, objects, buildings, vehicles and signage. They are mostly vacant, emptied spaces, void of people but reeking of human presence. I am fascinated by the decisions people make, why they make them and I enjoy the layering effect of these decisions over time and how they can transform common things. I love dry humor, playful relationships and quirky coincidences.

Photography describes more than can be explained. It forces attention, the need to look and look again. I want to be rewarded with surprise and a recharged awareness of my surroundings, enjoying the subtle mysteries and metaphors found in the commonplace. – Martin Buday