No American roadtrip is so classic as the one bound west, especially from New York to California.
That is the route Italy-born photographer Renato D’Agostin took last summer on his 1983 BMW R100, cruising 7,439 miles coast-to-coast: breaking down, developing film in motel sinks along the way.
“It was challenge,” says D’Agostin, “because the cross-country roadtrip has been done so much; it’s a part of your American photographic culture. Robert Frank did it sixty years ago, leaving a strong mark on everybody’s mind, and many other adventures followed. The size, distance, and scale in the landscape is something I’ve never seen before. Everything changes; it is hard to believe it’s the same country from north to south, east to west. It keeps surprising you.”
But he found patterns. The headlamp on his bike mimicked the full moon above. The roads, rivers, and rocket launch contrails -even the Coca-Cola cursive- appeared like ribbon. What you see in this series are hints of a larger picture.
He says, “Everything doesn’t have to be photographed in the same way to be remembered.”
Text by Chantel Tattoli, Condé Nast Traveler