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Richard Toll Ward, Ariz., March 9, 2017

“I had just finished driving through the Gila National Forest, a beautiful, windy road, and was going along the 191 in Arizona when I noticed a man off in the distance working in his yard. The fact that he was wearing nothing but sneakers, a sun hat, and a G-string definitely caught my eye. I pulled over and honked my horn a few times to get his attention. Richard Toll Ward came to the gate and let me in. We had a nice little visit during which he told me he was a Vietnam vet and that he voted for ‘Hillarity,’ and then he let me photograph him. I left there with two loaves of delicious homemade sourdough bread with olives in it!”
(Photograph and caption by Naomi Harris)

‘The First 100 Days’ — Photographs by Naomi Harris

Canadian portrait photographer Naomi Harris seeks out interesting cultural trends through her subjects. For her project “The First 100 days,” she drove across the United States, to turn a sharp eye on the American electorate and the disenfranchised voter.

“On January 20th, the day of Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, I set out on a nationwide road trip to coincide with his first 100 Days. The idea was to figure out, when the polls and the media all said Hillary Clinton was going to win, how did we end up with Trump as president instead. I drove around the country, talking and photographing a variety of people affiliated with both the Democratic and the Republican parties as well as those who didn’t vote, or couldn’t vote. Clocking approximately 19,000 miles, my drive included Washington, D.C. to Palm Beach, Fla., Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, a portion of the Mexican border, northern California, the Bible and Rust Belts, ending with day 100, April 29th, in Niagara Falls, NY.”

In addition to “The First 100 Days,” Naomi Harris photographed “Haddon Hall,” the last remaining elderly residents at a hotel in Miami’s South Beach. Harris spent five years (2003-08) depicting the nationwide phenomenon of swinging in “With America Swings.” The project became a Taschen monograph released in both collectors’ and trade editions. Her book “E.U.S.A.,” a reaction to the homogenization of European and American cultures through globalization, will be published in late 2017 by Kehrer Verlag.

Her numerous awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Photography in 2013, a Long-Term Career Advancement Grant from the Canada Council in 2012, the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2004, and the 2001 International Prize for Young Photojournalism from Agfa/Das Bildforum. In April 2017, she was a recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts “New Chapter” Grant, for which she’ll canoe the fur trader’s route in Ontario for 10 weeks in the summer of 2018.

The First 100 Days” by Naomi Harris print exhibit opening and talk moderated by Vice photo editor Elizabeth Renstrom is July 11 at 7 p.m. at the Half King in NYC, part of the Half King Photo Series, on view through Aug. 21.

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