MOTORDROME: Photographs by Scott Campbell Cochran

[exhibition at Studio 4, during First Friday Art Trail in July (Studio 4 also featured new letterpress prints by VMBEE & face painting by Ashley Busby)]


I was born to be a motorhead, a greaser, and car crazy. Before I could walk, I was helping my father work on cars in the shop connected to our house. When I was older, I lived above that shop, and often was awoken by the sound and smell of a V8 motor. I lived and breathed automotive culture obsessively. I have inherited this obsession that has been passed down through my grandfather, father, and now to me.

Through my photography I am investigating the cultural norms and symbolism of automotive culture. Bikers and hot rodders were once a counterculture and garnered significant public interest. Society became familiar with these cultures through photographic documentation, shaping their perception of them. My photography is my way of exploring how much has changed and how much has stayed the same within these cultures. Specifically, I have photographed the Wall of Death riders for many years nationally and I have been granted more intimate access than most. With this close relationship I am able to depict their life on the road and the symbolism of their culture. For many bikers, the Wall of Death riders represent everything they wish to be; they make their living on their bikes and are free to roam the country. The gritty nature of the photographs is intended to bring the viewer into the dusty, oily, sweaty, and rugged lifestyle of choppers and hot rods.

Scott Campbell Cochran is a Lubbock native and current MFA candidate at the University of Nebraska. He has worked extensively as a commercial photographer in Los Angeles and spent 2015 photographing every national park in the continental US for his project In Parks. Cochran has been featured in a number of publications, most recently Off the Road, Explorers, Vans, and Life Off the Beaten Track (Gestalten).

Instagram: @scottly