Oakland-based photographer Alex Wein took the fabled American road trip, but added his stamp of originality to it. He chose to see the sights upside down. Road trips across the U.S. is an escapade that is hugely popular, attracting people of all ages to the adventure. In Alex’ case, the last 2 years shows him in various stateside landscape photos, standing weirdly on his head.
From traffic jammed streets to cemeteries, Alex has braved extremes for his Headstands collection. He even stripped bare naked in a hot tub in Hollywood for the sake of the project. Headstands is a series that started during a cross-country roadtrip two years ago. It is a self-portrait project in progress, which Wein documents showing him upside down as he soaks in the sights from an inverted perspective.
In each photo, Wein incorporates his upturned self, turning an otherwise typical shot into an odd image. “My work walks the line between ultimate reality and surrealism,” says the upside down lensman of his photos. He can be seen in the Washington Monument, as well as the Grand Canyon, and in rougher real life scenes and urban blithe areas from less known locations.
All in all, the lighthearted collection is an interesting project where viewers are enticed to join Wein in his road trip as he ventures to unlikely portrait destinations in Louisiana, Japan, the US Capitol, a skatepark in Florida, and the deserts of Utah.
With the help of fellow photographers Matt Martin and Kevin Mason, the Oakland-based artist likes to goof around with the iconic sights of the U.S. If one looks closely, one can observe movement in the portraits as Wein’s inverted body struggles to stay still, tilting to one side precariously at times. His legs seem to sway, or his back seems awkwardly arched often, as he seems struggling to maintain balance. Considering the probability of falling over, some of Wein’s location choices such as a cliff or the middle of a city traffic jam are quite daredevil-ish.
See Wein’s exploits called Headstands, shot across the country here.