A new book dedicated to David Hurn’s two-decade love affair with Arizona is being published this month. The publication, titled Arizona Trips, contains images of the legendary photographer’s numerous trips to the state; capturing everything from cheerleaders, wild horse wrangling, and Dolly Parton look-alike competitions.
Hurn, who is originally from Wales, came to the US after winning the Bicentennial Fellowship in 1979 – a one-year award for photographers who want to shoot the country. After being asked to choose a state, he opted for Arizona. “It was the most right-wing state in America and Wales at that time was probably the most left-wing part of the UK,” he remembers. “Also, it’s the driest state in America and Wales is the wettest. So it seemed to me it was such an extraordinary contrast.”
The Magnum photographer ended up returning to Arizona repeatedly between 1979 and 2001, turning his lens to ordinary people in ordinary pursuits.
“Life as it unfolds in front of the camera is full of so much complexity, wonder and surprise that I find it unnecessary to create new realities,” adds Hurn. “There is more pleasure, for me, in things as they are.”
Arizona Trips is being released to tie in with Magnum’s 70th birthday this year. An accompanying exhibition of his work is also on display at the National Museum Cardiff until March 11 2018.