Functioning as a tourist attraction and essential form of infrastructure, the Golden Gate Bridge is what photographer Jake Ricker refers to as a “strange paradise.” His ongoing series by the same name focuses on the lighthearted, alarming, and sometimes bizarre happenings that occur daily at the orange landmark.
Ricker began the project in September 2017, and he’s since encountered a full spectrum of human emotion and experience during the hours he spends towering over the water. “I have photos of some of the saddest things you can see in this life, as well as some of the happiest,” he told Lens Culture. “I think the bridge exists in extremes.” It’s this vastness that makes Strange Paradise a glimpse into both the mundane and surreal, and the photographs capture everything from marriage proposals and weddings to joggers and commuters to people contemplating ending their lives—Ricker estimates he’s prevented about 60 suicides since beginning the project.
Currently, Ricker has a few prints available in his shop, and you can find more of the series on his site. He’s at work on a Strange Paradise book, and you can follow him on Instagram for updates on its release.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!