In 1989, 20-year-old Michael Galinsky began travelling the country to photograph people at shopping malls.
At the time, malls were central to American culture. The shopping centres provided a place for families and teens to shop and socialize.
But the excess of the ’80’s would soon give way to the grunge culture of the ’90’s. Today, mall traffic continues to fall as shoppers turn to the Internet.
Galinsky is publishing his photographs in a new book, “Malls Across America.” The photographs are taken all over the U.S., from Long Island to Washington State.
He shared selected photographs from the book with us.
The haunting images show the heyday of a quickly disappearing aspect of American culture.
Malls were outfitted with modern and opulent displays:
In the 80’s, they were central to American socializing and culture.
Galinsky says he was an amateur with little experience as a photographer when he took these photos.
Galinsky’s photographs were ignored when he first took them more than two decades ago.
“We took malls for granted. I had a sense they would resonate later. They did,” Galinsky said.
Galinsky said he wanted to capture the opulence and optimism of the time in his photos.
Soon, mall culture would fade, giving way to big-box retailers like Wal-Mart.
The photos portray people in a different era, as evidenced by this “Tape World” display.
Galinsky says he put the images online a few years ago, and they quickly went viral.
“I doubt I will ever again make images that connect so strongly,” he said.
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