Trucks of Morocco

Stefan Ruiz, "Truck No. 8" (2001)
Stefan Ruiz, Truck No. 8, Morocco, 2001.

Almost 20 years ago while on an assignment in Morocco, photographer Stefan Ruiz came across a series of trucks and was captivated by their appearance. The trucks were carrying extraordinarily large loads of straw, which was piled up in a way that seemed to flow above the trucks and down their sides. Their forms seemed antiquated yet modern.

Ruiz photographed the trucks with a type of large format camera often used by architectural photographers to control distortion and capture fine details. In this case, he used the formal, deliberate, and precise nature of the camera to document the trucks as forms of functional art. Ruiz furthered this effect by asking the drivers to move the trucks to isolated spaces in order to play with space and scale in the photographs. In contrast to the standard 35mm camera, the large format camera is large and slow and it put the drivers at ease. Ruiz also gave them Polaroids of the scenes before creating the final works, which he believes helped gain their trust and convinced them to let him take the photographs.

Ruiz’s work has appeared in magazines around the world, including the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Vogue, and W. His advertising photography includes campaigns for Caterpillar, Camper, Diesel, and Air France. His photographs have been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, New York, Photographers’ Gallery, London; Photo España, Madrid; Les Rencontres d’Arles, France; the Havana Biennial; and the Contact Photography Festival, Toronto.

He has published four monographs including The Factory of Dreams (Aperture, 2012), a book about Mexico’s Televisa Studios, where thousands of hours of telenovelas are produced and distributed worldwide annually, and Mexican Crime Photographs (GOST Books, 2016).

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For more about the artist, visit his website:

Cite this Article

Ruiz, Stefan. “Trucks of Morocco.” Issues in Science and Technology 37, no. 1 (Fall 2020).

Vol. XXXVII, No. 1, Fall 2020