Robert Frank: “Unpleasant Connections” (1991)

“In Butte, Montana, he photographed a slovenly, middle-aged woman in her car with a sullen child staring out of the window behind her. He showed a bench full of decrepit old people in St. Petersburg, Florida, staring at nothing in particular while a shiny new Pontiac whizzed by on the street behind them.”   By […]

On Ralph Eugene Meatyard (Excerpt) (1997)

  Williams wrote me that there was a photographer there who took pictures of children and American flags in attics.   Excerpt from The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays By Guy Davenport When I moved to Lexington in 1964 the poet Jonathan Williams wrote me that there was a photographer there who took pictures […]

“On Diane Arbus and Eugene Smith” (1977)

Masked woman in a wheelchair, PA, 1970 By Robert Coles, Wellesley College, 1977 I have an intense dislike for Diane Arbus. I don’t like her photographs and I don’t like the cult that’s been made of them. Maybe it’s because I’m a psychiatrist, because some part of me feels that that’s wrong, that that isn’t […]

ROSWELL ANGIER: “Sticky Floors and White Men Roars”

  By Doug Rickard, for ASX Stripper-stretch marks and desert-devil-dust... Mexican-Men with Tequila-Worm-Lust... jiggling breasts and White Men roars, sticky palms and sticky floors... booze-boars and bottle-breath, broken-teeth smiles and flailing-fist-death... curse and crawl, stumble and fall... warm wind blows through desert-window holes, pitiful views, coming in two's... alcohol-slaves. Mad howls and nasty scowls, jukebox-caves, [...]

The Family Albums of Ralph Eugene Meatyard (2006)

“Billboards in any art are the first things that one sees—the masks might be interpreted as billboards. Once you get past the billboard then you can see into the past (forest, etc.), the present, & the future. I feel that because of the “strange” that more attention is paid to backgrounds & that has been […]

ROGER EBERHARD: "Wilted Country" (2010)

“Three American Road Stories”   By Benedict Wells (Essay from the foreward to Wilted Country by Roger Eberhard, Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess, 2010) You’ve left Las Vegas a mere two hours behind. The lights of the nightclubs, casinos, bars, and hotels still shimmer through the hangover in your head. And suddenly you’re nowhere. The colors […]

The Photographer in the Beat-Hipster Idiom – Robert Frank’s The Americans

from ‘The Americans’ @ Robert Frank   Frank’s personality, described by Joyce Johnson as a blend of “European dourness and pessimistic wit,” certainly helped to focus his photographic vision.   By George Cotkin, Professor, Postwar United States Intellectual and Cultural History, California Polytechnic State University Few analysts have captured the sadness, tensions, ironies and possibilities […]

Alan Thomas on Roy DeCarava (1985)

Mississippi Freedom Marcher, Washington, DC, 1963 By Alan Thomas (Originally published as “Literary Snapshots of the Sho-Nuff Blues,” In These Times, March 27-April 2, 1985) “Who can dance to this bopping music? In the old days we used to like blues. And I still do. But now the kids don’t lean on the piano no […]

Some Sort of Place: Recent work by Roger Ballen (2005)

Ballen’s pictures bring to life in a variety of ways what (Man) Ray illuminated: the impulse to externalise the chaos of the mind and emotions, and the possibility that the creative process may just as soon yield a monster as an object of beauty. By Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Art / South Africa, 2005 Certain of Roger […]

Ron Jude: “Emmett” (2010)

By Doug Rickard, ASX, October 2010 The “past” is like a magical beast. At times, it makes me want to cry as a pit in my stomach hits with the power of a ton of bricks. At other times, I want to cackle and howl like a hyena as visions flood the head, pouring out […]