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American montage

John Roy turns his passion for photography into 3-D road art.

John Roy spent his career as a bricklayer in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he raised two kids. But it’s the highways and byways of abandoned America that inspire him: old farmhouses, vintage cars, road signs, gas stations, motels and salvage yards that dot the landscape. His love of the blues figures in, too.

Roy found a way to turn that passion for Americana into art. Over the years, he has taken thousands of photographs, which he uses to create large-scale 3-D montages.

In a highly labor-intensive process, he meticulously cuts images from the photos to create his color-splashed road art.

Blue highway, he calls it.

Some of the pieces are as big as 8-by-16 feet, though these days they’re more likely to be 6-by-12.

“My MS slows me down a little sometimes,” says Roy, who was diagnosed in 2005 and has periods of blurred vision and balance problems. “The smaller pieces are easier to manage.”

He’s never had any formal art training—“just my imagination and my love for blues music and old cars.”

Winter 2017-18

See more of John Roy’s work.

Watch a video to see how Roy creates his 3-D road art.

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