Description

Born in 1970, Matt Black is an American photographer who has devoted his career to the documentation of migration, poverty and environmental devastation.

This 2014 photograph is from Black’s project American Geography, which saw him travelling 100,000 miles across 44 states, over six years, documenting neglected communities with high poverty rates to highlight the increasing levels of inequality in one of the richest countries on Earth. This image was taken in Tulare County, California, the wealthiest state in America. However, in Tulare itself, 27 percent of people live below the poverty line, a markedly higher number than the national average of 13 percent.

The extent of Black’s travels are integral to the project itself, as a way to demonstrate the vast scale of the issue. After his work in California, he wanted to use his photography to communicate the fact that poverty is not just a problem in his home state, but a nationwide concern that desperately needs to be addressed. “The intention is to cast as broad a net as possible,” he has said. “Poverty is systemic – it’s not an anomaly, which is typically how it’s presented. It’s deeply woven into American life, regardless of race, geography, or culture.”

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox

Stay in touch
Stay up to date every Thursday with Magnum photographers’ activities, new work, stories published on the Magnum website, and the latest offerings from our shop.
Be the first to know about recent Magnum Shop drops. From new books and limited editions, to special offers, you can find it all on the weekly Magnum Shop newsletter.
Get fortnightly tips and advice articles, find out about the latest workshops, free online events and on-demand courses.
Learn about online and offline exhibitions, photography fairs, gallery events, plus fine print news and activities, on a monthly basis.
Know when our quarterly 7-day square print sale is coming.
Monthly updates on the latest assignments, photographer projects and collaborations with brands.