A pink 1950s Edsel collects rust and dust in the backyard of an abandoned home, a dilapidated service station sits along a barren stretch of highway, miles from any civilisation, an eerily quiet motel surrounded by pristine snow slowly gives itself up to nature. These forlorn icons of the American dream are among the many haunting images collected in Americana Forgotten, a new book by photographer and urban explorer Johnny Joo.
Johnny Joo has been fascinated by abandoned structures since he was a teenager, exploring decaying and derelict shells that were once much-loved family homes. For his latest project, he travelled around the US documenting examples of America's gleaming past which have fallen on hard times.
He explains: "The phrase 'American dream' conjures up images of huge 1950s cars, white picket fences, diners and ice cream parlours with Chuck Berry songs blaring out of the jukebox speakers. Fast-forward a few decades and we seem to have tossed much of that dream aside, along with any notion that these once-prized items would one day be important to anyone. These artefacts may stir nostalgia in those who lived through these times, or wistfulness in some who wish they'd been born in that era. But to many – both young and old – they are no more than a heap of rusted trash; a 'worn out and boring history'."