Michael Dalton grew up in New Jersey and in his debut book, The Great Falls, he depicts a city – a park, a waterfall, a derelict stadium, a model home, and the people that remain after the industry leaves – with a sense of familiarity and reverence. Dalton’s images include landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits of couples that represent a pride and resilience found in communities that are forced to adapt. The solemn grandeur of the waterfall ennobles Dalton’s work, which explores common American themes of perseverance, reclamation, and escape.
With his particular use of imagery and sequence, Dalton creates a stage in which he deploys common archetypes found within cities of the Northeastern United States. While the specificity of place is not important to the central themes of the book, the indelible waterfall of Paterson, the constant guardian of the park, remains a reminder of what William Carlos Williams saw as the “catastrophe” in ones life (Book Four, Paterson). The waterfall and the river, in their course to the sea, mash together, become something new, and add to the larger sphere of existence. This is perhaps a reflection on the evolving function of faded industrial cities like Patterson in the modern world. Navigating these themes, The Great Falls is at once a personal record and a social document: an artist’s view of a place that has a fascinating history and social complexity.
To Purchase the limited edition version of the Great Falls, which includes a rubber stamped map, and a 16x20 C-Print of "The Great Falls at Night ($130):
To purchase the te Regular version of "The Great Falls":