A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers (members)

A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers (members)

Ben Smith

  • 150 Episodes
  • English
  • Last updated Nov 15, 2023
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208 - Curran Hatleberg

Jul 05, 2023 E208 00:58:33

Curran Hatleberg is an American photographer based in Baltimore, MD. He attended Yale University and graduated in 2010 with an MFA. Influenced by the American tradition of road photography, Curran’s process entails driving throughout the United States and interacting with various strangers in different locales. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including shows at the Whitney Biennial, MASS MoCA, the International Center of Photography, Rencontres d’Arles, Higher Pictures and Fraenkel Gallery. He is the recipient of various grants, prizes and awards including a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship. Curran’s work is held in  various museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, SF MoMA, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His work has been published frequently in periodicals such as Harpers, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vice and The Paris Review. Lost Coast, his first monograph, was released by TBW Books in fall 2016. His second monograph, River's Dream, was published by TBW Books in 2022. Curran has taught photography at numerous institutions, including Yale University and Cooper Union.

In episode 208, Curran discusses, among other things:

  • Coming from a big family
  • His background in painting
  • The benefits of taking a break from education
  • ‘Stumbling’ into an MFA at Yale
  • His first book The Lost Coast
  • His process and saying yes to everything
  • Being open and vulnerable to what might happen
  • The fascination with the USA
  • Trying to convey the ‘atmospheric intensity’ of Florida in Summer
  • How he decides where to stop and photograph
  • The ‘origin story’ of lending his van and trailer to a stranger
  • His artist’s book, Double Rainbow
  • Being guided by reading fiction


“I hate this idea that’s so grounded in the myth of road photographers, or American photography, where it’s this fallacy about the singular genius of the person bending the world to their will. It just seems so absurd to me. Chance is everything. I’m constantly levelled by how little control I have when I’m working. I feel insignificant and almost powerless a lot of the time.”