Phillip March Jones' 'Pictures Take You Places'

Photographer's latest collection is Poem88 EDITIONS' first publication

Whether he was taking pictures of street signs or of lingering trash and often overlooked spaces, photographer Phillip March Jones' found inspiration for his latest creative venture during recent travels through Europe and the United States. After archiving the photos on Tumblr, Jones compiled them, with the help of Poem88's publishing arm EDITIONS, into Pictures Take You Places. Published earlier this month, the collection of 52 full-color postcards is the first release under EDITIONS, and follows Jones' previously published, Polaroid-based project, Points of Departure, which featured roadside memorials across the country.

Currently, Jones splits his time between Lexington, Ky., as the founder of Institute 193, a nonprofit contemporary art space, and working as the director of the Galerie Christian Berst in New York. Jones spoke to Creative Loafing about staying focused, challenging himself daily, and sharing the strange beauty of the world through photography.

This is Poem 88's first publication on EDITIONS. How did it come about?

Robin Bernat, the gallery owner, is a friend and like-minded soul. We've collaborated on several projects and exhibitions over the past few years in Atlanta and Lexington. ... We both love books, and she really understood the images and what they were about.

Your book, Pictures Take You Places, is composed of images from around the U.S. and Europe. How did the concept come about? Did you challenge yourself to take photographs daily?

Over the past few years, I was forced to travel almost constantly for work and felt that my studio practice was suffering as a result. I challenged myself to take a picture every day as a way to keep my eye active and focused. The daily discipline has additionally forced me to engage with the world in a different way. I feel more attuned to the colors, forms, and lines all around me. I don't even have to look for the pictures anymore; the images now seem to sneak up on me.

You uploaded photos daily to Tumblr before compiling them for a book, correct? How did that influence the project itself? Did you have immediate feedback?

I started uploading the photos to Tumblr from the beginning, purely as a way to organize them. I would never be able to keep track of them on my phone or computer. I'm just not that organized. The social aspect of the project was an added bonus, but the audience is pretty small at this point — mostly friends and family.

Most of the photos are of objects that people normally wouldn't notice. How did you pick your subjects? What drew you to them?

I sort of stumble across things. I also feel that no matter where I am, I seem to take the same pictures: funny signs, unfinished fence projects, bad landscaping, giant farm animals, and confusing natural anomalies. Since I moved to New York, I mostly photograph trash on the street.

How does this book relate to your Polaroid-based project, Points of Departure, from your cross-country travels?

Points of Departure was a very specific and rigid project, both aesthetically and conceptually. The resulting publication was over 200 pages of Polaroids featuring roadside memorials — mostly crosses alongside the road. It was a heavy, thick, hardcover book. This newest project is more fun. People can open the box, spread the postcard images across the table, stack them in different piles, and send them to friends and family. It's about sharing the strange beauty and visual poetry of the world. The psychological weight is a bit lighter too.

Are you still shooting for this project?

Pictures Take You Places is a lifelong project, so it hopefully won't be finished for a long time. I'm starting to paint again, something I haven't done for several years, and working on several other photographic bodies of work. I'll keep you posted.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story featured a photo that is not in Pictures You Take Places.

More By This Writer


Thursday August 25, 2016 08:00 am EDT
The Atlanta Contemporary wakes up the Atlanta Biennial out of its 9-year slumber | more...


Wednesday August 10, 2016 06:30 pm EDT

%{data-embed-type=%22image%22 data-embed-id=%2257a3a78857ab467a50a47e70%22 data-embed-element=%22span%22 data-embed-size=%22640w%22 contenteditable=%22false%22}%

Moving is a sure way to shoot down nostalgia road, but for artist Kyle Brooks, it led to a much larger discovery than embarrassing photos. While packing up his Southeast Atlanta home, the folk artist better known as BlackCatTips...

| more...


Wednesday July 6, 2016 10:38 am EDT

The 7th Annual Atlanta Shortsfest kicks off the Atlanta Film Series, screening nearly 100 short films at the Synchronicity Theatre on Fri., July 15, and Sat., July 16. The two-day fest highlights filmmakers from across the world.

“It’s been incredible to see the evolution of the films over the years,” Festival Director Bj Ogden says. “The line-up just keeps getting stronger. After...

| more...


Wednesday June 29, 2016 10:14 am EDT
image-1After self-publishing her psychological thriller, Free of Malice, local author Liz Lazarus found herself inspired by Little Free Libraries in her neighborhood. As a way to promote her book and give back, Lazarus started leaving copies of her book in these libraries around town to encourage feedback, all with the promise of donating a portion of her book sales to local libraries with... | more...


Wednesday June 22, 2016 03:24 pm EDT

The Studio Artist Program is opening its doors and inviting Atlanta to get a sneak peek of what these 14 artists (some pictured above) have been up to. The program supports them by providing subsidized studio space and encouraging them to create. From getting to see their new work to getting first dibs on a new piece, it’s a unique opportunity to meet artists like Christina A. West...

| more...
Search for more by Muriel Vega

[Admin link: Phillip March Jones' 'Pictures Take You Places']

Spider for Phillip March Jones' 'Pictures Take You Places'