Mark Steinmetz has spent his career, beginning in the mid-1980s, relying on chance events to capture his photographs. Working in series, his intimate black and white photographs cover such subjects as children and teenagers. As well as small southeastern American towns, street scenes in Paris, and various Italian cities.
With this chance-driven approach, Steinmetz is committed to presenting the viewer with images that are open to multiple interpretations. As opposed to creating specific narratives or singular emotional effects. In series such as South Central, for which Steinmetz photographed in and around Knoxville, Tennessee. We see solitary, mostly youthful, figures in a suburban environment, often lost in contemplation. A similar atmosphere is conjured in the later, related, series, Greater Atlanta. Here Steinmetz catalogues car culture, fast food, convenience stores, and suburban sprawl. These understated yet richly atmospheric images invite a slow form of looking, through which numerous readings may arise.