Freelance-valokuvaaja Karoliina Paatos on kuvannut cowboy-kulttuuria Yhdysvaltojen länsiosissa vuodesta 2010. Hän on viettänyt yksitoista viikkoa karjatiloilla ja rodeoissa Nevadassa, Idahossa, Oregonissa, Arizonassa ja Teksasissa. Kuvausmatkoillaan hän on osallistunut karjanajoon, vasikoiden polttomerkitsemiseen ja hevosten kouluttamiseen sekä seurannut muun muassa kojootin ampumista, lehmien poikimista ja rodeoareenoiden elämää valokeilojen ulkopuolella.
What compels a photographer from Finland to make work about the American West? Seven years ago, Karoliina Paatos began to make photographs in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon in search of the American cowboy. Over the years, she built a series that is at once cinematic, majestic, and intimate, using landscape and portraits to define the brutality, isolation, and beauty of the cowboy life. This work has recently been published by The Angry Bat, a Ljubljana-based publisher. The book itself, The American Cowboy is beautifully crafted with a sewn linen cover and an open spine revealing photographs of “found moments, found people, and found objects” gathered from years of immersion observing this unique culture that so defines man and nature.
Karoliina Paatos is a Finnish photographer based both in her home country and the USA. During the past ten years, she has covered subjects all over the world for the biggest magazines and newspapers in Finland. She works on her own personal long term projects and frequently exhibits them both in solo and group shows as well as in artist’s books. Her first monograph, American Cowboy, published by The Angry Bat was recently released. Paatos has studied in Aalto University’s graduate programs in Photography and Documentary Film and is currently in University of Arizona’s MFA program. Paatos was PDN‘s student category winner in 2015 with her series Rodeo Queer.