Greg Stimac is something of an urban typologist. That is, his photographs portray a smattering of types: the disgruntled mower, the ardent mower, the militaristic mower, etc. All of these types speak to a different sub-culture of America.
Lawn-mowing is the imperative, here. Nothing is as, dare I say, patriotic as mowing your lawn. It speaks to civil duty (to man’s responsibility to preserve his neighborhood); it speaks to man’s desire to subjugate nature (we mow knowing that the grass will grow back, but hoping that it will stay perfectly trimmed); it speaks to suburbanization (that is a real word, believe it or not); it speaks to province in every sense of the word (territorial, ecclesiastical, you name it).
You can say that Stimac’s work just categorizes lawn-mowing in all its wonder. That would be an adequate explanation. But, it does more than that. It categorizes a facet of Americanism: our right of choice. We can mow that damn lawn any damn way we please, dammit.
Consider, if you will, an episode of the no-longer syndicated show “This American Life,” entitled “Two Wars” (if you have netflix, you can watch it, or you can read an article about it by Peter Ames Carlin by clicking here). Featured in “Two Wars” is a former Soviet citizen, Nicoli, who lived through the perils of Fascism (Communist by name, Fascist by action). This came in the form of a Leonid Brezhnev lead government that forced lawn maintenance unto its people. For Nicoli, not mowing the lawn is his constitutional right, and nobody—not even his wife (gulp)—can tell him otherwise. It is a story of individual rights, of individual freedoms, and of individuality. It is a story that Stimac also tells.
For more by Stimac, go to: http://www.gregstimac.com/