04 May 2023
Marissa: Joey Knox's Journey Capturing America's Beauty & Complexity
As a highly acclaimed cinematographer based in Australia, Joey Knox has made a name for himself in the industry through his work in commercials, music videos, and narrative films.
However, Knox's talents extend beyond the world of cinematography. In his debut publication, Marissa, Knox offers a unique and personal view of America through his journey exploring the country's landscape, culture, people, and places.
Through his visual exploration, Knox was able to capture a world that he had only seen in films before, but with a new understanding of how it could look.
"Zigzagging up and down throughout each state in my $500 van (Marissa), I captured a world I had only seen visually before with a new understanding of how it could look."
Marissa, offers a fresh perspective on the American dream, challenging the romanticised notions perpetuated by films and media. Through the lens, Joey captures a raw and unfiltered view of the American landscape and its people, dispelling the idealised image often held by Australian culture.
"I wanted to explore America and find those towns and characters that have been forgotten about. Watching those old American films - maybe they've played a bit of a part in the places I chose to find."
Marissa encourages readers to rethink their perceptions of culture and place, and to approach them with a critical eye. Knox's individual discovery of the US acts as a catalyst to his changing idea of the states through this narrative.
"The American landscape was something I only ever saw in films," Joey said. "As a filmmaker travelling there was something I needed to do. I wanted to explore the backdrops of what had inspired me most. When I was confronted by the baron and run-down landscape, the natural order of the U.S. was not what I had imagined. Yet, I was drawn to the beauty and the characters that occupied it. Zigzagging up and down throughout each state in my $500 van (Marissa), I captured a world I had only seen visually before with a new understanding of how it could look."
Marissa serves as a vehicle of transposition, slowly debunking the truth about how a culture that has so heavily influenced the outside world could look to a foreign eye. The book beautifully captures the contrast and commonality of the American landscape, serving as a beautiful yet grim environment for Joey's visual exploration.
MOM Publishing worked closely with Joey to ensure that Marissa's structure and flow captured his creative vision. Joey explained, "There are decisions about how you make the shape of a book and how it flows, so that was an interesting challenge, but for me, and my non-book brain, I was like, wow, this is a different headspace, you can create another feeling with two photos next to each other or a big impact with a photo by itself."
Marissa is a thought-provoking and visually stunning publication that challenges the idea of idolising a culture and a place, showcasing a unique and personal view of America that is both beautiful and raw, reflecting an America lost in translation but newly discovered through Joey's lens.
You can purchase Marissa through MOM - https://loveyoumom.net/Marissa
Out on May 5th with a physical launch party at A.N Studio. Books and drinks will be available
Friday May 5th - 5pm - Late
415 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065