Art.sy Insight: Jeff Brouws and abandoned railroad tracks

Since 2009, photographer Jeff Brouws has documented the disused railroad tracks—which he considers “the backside of America”—near his home in Stanfordville, in New York’s Hudson Valley. Brouws believes that all photographs are political, and, to that end, he envisioned these works as an implicit protest to rising gas prices. Brouws required himself to complete this series and fulfill its ambitions despite confining himself to a ten-mile radius in Dutchess County, in an effort to reduce his own carbon footprint. Describing this as “[counter] to my usual peripatetic photographic practice,” which has seen him document the roadside culture of American gas stations, diners, and street signs , Brouws undertook this self-prescribed challenge to express his belief that “every project, every exposure and every print is potentially a social statement.”