It’s good to play it simple. The true value of whatever you’re working with tends to shine through that way. Matt Hurst did just that and it really pays off in his new zine SEDAN, which features film-only photography of... sedans. And the photos? The photos are great. The cars are pretty sweet too.
I got a chance to ask Matt a few questions about his project because I found the zine’s Instagram earlier this week and couldn’t get enough of it. I love the soft light and muted colors in the photos Matt has collected. I think they do a really great job of capturing the environment that so many malaise-era American sedans tend to find themselves in, and that’s a worthy cause right there. If you’re reading this site, I think you’ll likely agree.
Matt is a photographer himself, and though he didn’t catch the car bug until later on, his dad used to shoot at Sebring back in the ‘60s and ‘70s so it makes some sense that these big old sedans might catch his eye these days.
Besides his dad, Matt sees photographers like William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, and Joel Sternfeld as influences on his own work well as on the curation of the zine. The influence of their innovation in color photography as an art form as well as their photos of cars really shines through in the shots Matt has included in his first issue.
I also asked Matt about sedans. It’s one thing to dedicate a zine to car photos. It’s quite another to decide that the focus ought to be on crusty old sedans, especially as they start to slip away from the new car market, but Matt’s got a reason. He says that “a lot of [his] own personal work deals with documenting buildings and places that are sort of lost in time and likely to disappear soon, and I think that’s happening in a big way with this era of sedan.”
Matt also reminds us that there are many fewer of these big cars on the road these days than you might think, especially after Cash For Clunkers. That in mind, Matt’s managed to put together a collection of photographs from all over the world in his first issue. I see some photos from England, and theres a really special orange Aussie Falcon in there too.
As for the zine itself, Matt explained that this is actually his second attempt to launch. A few years ago he made an attempt but it never panned out. Now, though, Matt says that independent printing has gotten a lot more accessible. I am really happy about that because while Instagram is a phenomenal environment for carspotting (#drivefreeordie), there’s nothing that compares to the tactile experience of thumbing through real prints.
The first issue of SEDAN is available for order now and Matt hopes to get another issue ready for the spring.