10 Artworks that capture the heart of the USA

The land of fast food, advertising, Hollywood, glitz and glamour; the heart of the USA is often associated with abundance and excess. However, it is also home to a vast range of breath-taking landscapes and environments. These have been captured by numerous artists from across the globe. From the sprawling Grand Canyon to the cityscapes of New York; America really is the land of plenty! Take a trip across the pond and see some of what this iconic country has to offer on Artsper! 

 1) Franck Vogel – Colorado River Sunset

Franck Vogel, Colorado River Sunset, 2015
Franck Vogel, Colorado River Sunset, 2015

Originally from France, Franck Vogel has travelled far and wide, capturing the landscapes of numerous different countries. In this particular image he invites the viewer to escape everything and look across the Colorado River into the light on the distant horizon. The purple and blue hues in contrast to the golden band of sun creates a real sense of quietness. In this photograph Vogel has relinquished the usual tropes of America which usually centre around consumerism and modern ideas. Instead, he transports the viewer into the heart of the USA, highlighting the natural beauty the country has to offer…

2) Richard Heeps – Approach to Bonneville Salt Flats, Bonneville, Utah

Richard Heeps, Approach to Bonneville Salt Flats, Bonneville, Utah, 2003
Richard Heeps, Approach to Bonneville Salt Flats, Bonneville, Utah, 2003

Heeps exposes the viewer to the wide and never-ending roads of Utah. Known for its varied landscape, Utah is home to both world renowned ski resorts and scorched deserts. Like Vogel, Heeps distances himself from portraying a commercialized idea of the US. Instead he strips the landscape back to the raw, expansive base of what the US was built upon. The road stretching out evokes feelings of loneliness, highlighting the intimidating grandeur of America’s natural landscape. Just focus in on this image, imagine the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and not a care in the world!

3) Katerina Christina – Meditation on the Bay [San Francisco, California, USA]

Katerina Christina, Meditation on the Bay [San Francisco, California, USA], 2019
Katerina Christina, Meditation on the Bay [San Francisco, California, USA], 2019

This black and white image from photographer Katerina Christina delicately highlights the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. There is a dramatic contrast between the bright white sky and the dark shadow of the tree. This makes the viewer question if the photograph was taken in the early morning or with the dwindling evening sun. Either way, there is a tranquility that emanates from the image, immediately aligning the viewer with the solitary figure. This tranquility is characteristic of Christina’s photography, whose career has taken her across the US. Her shots capture a calmer, more intimate side to the US which is so often associated with an uncontainable energy…

4) JR – Lovers on the roof

Artist JR, JR - Lovers on the roof, USA, 2018
Artist JR, JR – Lovers on the roof, USA, 2018

JR is known for his gallant and ingenious artwork across the globe. Here he takes us to NYC! Named Lovers on the roof, there really is a romantic slant to this image that is hard not to be swept away by. The two grey lovers in the foreground tie in with the background of the steely buildings and sky, linking to create an undeniable love letter to New York. So let JR tantalize you with the idea of being on a New York roof, literally in the heart of the USA!

 5) Benoit Havard – New York Immersion

Benoit Havard, New York Immersion, 2015
Benoit Havard, New York Immersion, 2015

Another artist to whisk you away to New York is Benoit Havard whose dreamy oil paintings capture the city’s vibrant streets. With sweeps of color, Havard’s paintings reflect the magnitude of the iconic New York skyline against the hustle and bustle of the streets below. This painting highlights the contrast between the peacefulness of the cool blue sky, against the untamed fiery tones at street level. Ultimately, this painting leaves the viewer dreaming of going for a stroll underneath the glassy office buildings in the autumnal sun!

 6) Bernhard Lang – Miami_II_003

Bernhard Lang, Miami_II_003, 2015
Bernhard Lang, Miami_II_003, 2015

Since 2010, Bernhard Lang has been working on a series of photographs taken from the sky. Here he takes the viewer high above the coast in Miami, creating a postcard view of the glamorous destination. The aerial perspective creates a separation from the crowds down below. This perhaps could create a sense of isolation from the beach goers. However, the crystal clear waters, bright primary colors and white sand leave the viewer itching to be one of the tiny specks swimming in the sea!

7) Jeremy Dickinson – Southern California Wall Map

Jeremy Dickinson, Southern California Wall Map, 2007
Jeremy Dickinson, Southern California Wall Map, 2007

A step away from the landscapes of America – these colorful camper vans are enough to evoke the sentiments of a road trip through the California sun. Dickinson typically works from still life. He stacks blocks to form precarious structures that threaten to fall down with one small push. This particular painting has an almost childlike energy to it, stirring up memories of playing with building blocks. However, the rigorous attention to detail in the vehicles brings a sophisticated edge to the painting. Ultimately this leaves a vintage feel, making the viewer nostalgic for summers gone by…

 8) Bob Willoughby – Louis Armstrong relaxing on the set of ‘High Society’

Bob Willoughby, Louis Armstrong relaxing on the set of 'High Society', 1956
Bob Willoughby, Louis Armstrong relaxing on the set of ‘High Society’, 1956


It is impossible to look at the picture and not feel as though you are sharing a precious joke with Louis Armstrong! The intimacy in the picture is characteristic of Willoughby. He was a pioneer of the movie ‘still’ in the 50s and 60s and shaped the candid celebrity photograph that we know and love today. There is an infectious joy in this photograph that radiates onto any onlooker, propelling you back to the moments it was taken. Let yourself be transported back to the set of High Society and momentarily become a part of Hollywood!

 9) Garner – Kamhan

Garner, Kamhan, 2014
Garner, Kamhan, 2014

In this work of art, Garner creates the illusion of taking the viewer into the heart of New York. The cartoon-like quality of this image makes it easy to imagine the honks and general commotion of life at street level in the city. By offering the viewer the perspective of the street corner, the spectator is drawn right into the centre of the piece. This ultimately allows the viewer to easily imagine themselves watching the iconic yellow New York taxis pass them by…

10) Dani Garcia Sarabia – Usa’90 Pizza Slice

Dani Garcia Sarabia, Usa’90 Pizza Slice, 2001
Dani Garcia Sarabia, Usa’90 Pizza Slice, 2001

Dani Garcia Sarabia captures the essence of laid back life on the American coast. The sea in the distant background makes the viewer almost feel the warm breeze passing through the swaying palm trees. Dark shadows cast from the sun contrasts the bright white of the concrete to intensify the feeling of scorching heat. Together they create an almost tangible summer haze. This washes over this photograph, leaving the viewer with the distinct feeling of a lazy day at the beach coming to a close…

From the West Coast to the East Coast and all the places in between, America is full of fascinating destinations. Environments ranging from deserts to forests and cities to expansive landscapes, there is everything on offer in the USA! Discover more of what this fresh and enigmatic country has to offer in the world of contemporary art and dive into the heart of the USA on Artsper!