While my wife and two teenage daughters were in Florida for Spring Break this year, I hopped in the car with a 4x5 camera and drove 1,000 miles west of Minneapolis to the Black Hills. In terms of landscape, the Black Hills region of South Dakota and Wyoming marks the beginning of the American West in the northern United States. From a geological perspective, the Black Hills are like a miniature preview of the Rocky Mountains, rising up from the prairie almost unexpected. And from a cultural point of view, the area is regarded by many as a symbolic ground zero for the ongoing clash between European settlers and the native population; a political struggle for land that continues to this day.
Photographer David Bowman hails from Chicago, studied in Madison, traversed the Australian outback via camel, and drifted to the Twin Cities some time thereafter. One of the first people he met after arriving in Minnesota was fashion photographer Richard Avedon. Bowman asked him what advice he might give a struggling artist, and Avedon responded, “Start working." So he did, ultimately shooting for the likes of Vanity Fair, TIME, Glamour, Target, National Geographic, ESPN, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, and Dwell. In 2013, Bowman graduated with his MFA, Valedictorian of the Graduate School, and became a full member of National Geographic Creative.