“American Bedroom,” an ongoing series by Barbara Peacock, is a study of Americans in a place of intimacy and privacy—their bedrooms. Composed of portraits of individuals, couples and families spending time in their bedrooms across the country, the project considers the smallest “details of each enigmatic life” captured, writes Peacock in her artist statement. “Ultimately,” she adds, “these moments will allow us to look inward at the complex beauty of human kind, ourselves, and fellow Americans.”
The detailed portraits, which are accompanied by quotes from the person photographed, invite the viewer to contemplate the complexities, eccentricities, and often, hardships, of Americans. Created at a time when the country’s political climate is overflowing with a divisive and dehumanizing rhetoric, the images of ordinary citizens remind us that the “fabric of the nation,” who often go unnoticed, matter, says Peacock.
The idea for “American Bedroom” was born inside Peacock’s own home in Portland, Maine. Waking up one spring morning, she took in the view of her husband sprawled on the bed, a snore mask covering his face. She was wearing a sleep mask, tank top and boldly patterned socks. The offbeat nature of the scene caused Peacock to wonder what could be said about people in their private dwellings in a single photographic frame.
As a winner of the 2017 Getty Images Editorial Grant, Peacock continues to develop “American Bedroom,” and persists in her reflections on the “poetic resonance of ordinary subjects.”