One of the most pleasant memories I take of my time living in California are the many road trips. The state was made to drive around with a vast array of scenery from desert to redwoods.
Once you get away from the major highways and urban conurbations those trips are also surprisingly traffic free. You can cruise across the Sierra Nevada’s for miles with only a few cars for company.
Serbian immigrant Rejia Penezic captures some of the feel of travelling along Californian highways in his series of oil paintings California Road Chronicles. They have an almost Hopper-esque feel to them suggesting the loneliness of the road warrior as he drives.
That bright empty light that is peculiarly Californian infects the mood of Penezic’s work and the images he creates are very often bereft of human life or habitation. Coastal roads show only jagged low lying cliffs or coastguards lookout.
When urban scenes are shown at all they fell distant and insubstantial as seen through a heat haze (or more likely LA smog)
Some of the pictures have at times a photographic quality a little reminiscent of photo realists like Robert Bechtle or a fine art photographers like William Eggleston
All of them evoke a singular world where the drive is never over and everyone is feted to keep on moving forever.