Richard Max Gavrich

Richard Max Gavrich is a photographer and arts educator, born and raised in San Francisco. He received a BA in Photography from Bard College in New York.
Gavrich was the 2014 recipient of the Lugo Land Prize. His subsequent book, Estraneo, published in 2015 by Edizioni del Bradipo, charted the rural Lowlands of Emilia-Romagna. He has exhibited at the Museo San Rocco (Fusignano, Italy), the Ogden Museum of Southern Art (New Orleans, LA), Five Points Gallery (Torrington, CT), and taught at Real Art Ways, Bricolage Academy, Big Class New Orleans, and Bard College.

Gavrich is the founder of The Dial & Dial Books, a roving gallery and small press that publishes small photography editions. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area.

Fat City Journal

‘Fat City Journal’ is an ongoing body of work that explores the changing landscape of northern California. I was born and raised in San Francisco in the nineties and early aughts, just as tech began to colonize the region. These changes in infrastructure and economy have rippled across the state, altering the topography as well as the psychology of open space. Joan Didion spoke of the strange, depressing effect of the California landscape. It’s vastness, stark contrasts, and the imminent and recurring disasters— earthquakes, landslides, wildfires — throw a wrench in the idealized image of the booming West, particularly its latest iteration as Tech epicenter and liberal haven. Along the freeway veins that lead to Silicon Valley, bedroom communities sprout up like seedlings. Almond orchards and orange groves abut hundreds of new prefab condos.

For my entire life, my grandparents have moved among these settlements in the Central Valley — Fresno, Clovis, Bakersfield, Manteca. When they moved to an unfinished retirement complex near Stockton a few years ago, I began photographing the day-laborers and soon-to-be finished garages, living rooms, back patios. Leonard Gardner’s novel Fat City (old slang for luck as well as the ironic nickname of Stockton), provides an account of two boxers— one young, the other old— struggling to survive in a dwindling California town.

I am interested in the connective tissue that brings this survey of place and personal narrative together, the interplay of presence and absence, immediacy and distance, motion and stasis.

To view more of Richard Max Gavrich’s work please visit his website.