REM – Ralph Eugene Meatyard

another in a series of posts this week about the work of photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard

rem02

Madonna, 1964

as mentioned in yesterday’s post, Meatyard often used his family in poses in his work.  These photos are not portraits, the people in them as much props as the old buildings, masks and objects around them. Often these photos are more an abstract study of light and shadow, mass and profile.

rem11

No-Focus #2 (Figures) 1960

This second photo is a portrait of a kind of human connection, the abstraction of focus being the tool of expression.  This focus, and lack of focus, was frequently used by Meatyard.  Initially I think it was to further remove his explorations from the realm of documentation, allowing the camera to do what it does best – simply a light sensitive tool.  Tomorrow’s post will have some more of these out-of-focus studies, taking them into the territory of the psychological space of the earlier portraits while maintaining a kind of abstraction.

All the photos this week are scanned from the excellent book on Meatyard, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, An American Visionary published by the Akron Art Museum in 1991, editor Barbara Tannenbaum.

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