Martin Buday’s photo book captures the everyday weirdness of the US

Prophetic Kingdom is the photographer’s first monograph, and brings together images of “unpopulated and pseudo-apocalyptic landscapes”, capturing the peculiarity hidden within suburban life

All images © Martin Buday

“Here they are mostly vacant, emptied places, void of people but reeking of human presence,” says Buday of the series, which is collected together in a title published by Daylight Books. “The photos strive to observe with clarity and without judgement man’s decisions over time, what was created and what is left. What do these banal surfaces reveal about the country and in turn about ourselves?”

Prophetic Kingdom is the first monograph from the photographer, who’s exhibited his work across the US. He describes it as a “photographic survey” of the everyday places, buildings and objects we take for granted.

Buday’s photographs tap into the weirdness of the world around us, documenting moments of peculiarity or unexpectedness – a building frosted over with thick ice, a tree that’s split perfectly into two branches, or a unicorn seemingly stood by the side of the road.

There’s a sense of humour to many of his images, for example the pony stood insolently under the ‘beware the dog’ sign, or a hopelessly rusted car, surrounded by weeds and still bearing its ‘4 sale’ tag.

According to Buday, the title of the book came from a Delaware ministry – a photograph of which is included in Prophetic Kingdom – and hints at the idea of “the divine next to the mundane”. Curator and writer Nicole Kaack has written an essay for the book, which comments on Buday’s use of colour and juxtaposition, as well explaining the vague eeriness that accompanies some of his images.

“Buday’s unpopulated and pseudo-apocalyptic landscapes are pervaded by such anachronistic quirks and inversions in the fade of painted colour and the juxtaposition of objects that date themselves,” she writes.

Prophetic Kingdom is published by Daylight Books; daylightbooks.org

SENIOR DESIGNER

MANCHESTER