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March 27, 2014

I wanted to flip back to an photograph or two from the Wide Angle exhibit at the University of Kentucky Art Museum.  A couple days ago, I had an image showing the display of some well known photographers, however I think one of the important educational points of the Wide Angle show is how it allows you to find new photographers and new styles.   This photograph depicts a picture made by Arthur Tress, a photographer  that is known for his staged surrealism.  His image shows a street hockey player shot in an enveloping scene of steam rising from the road beneath him, from some sort of vent.  It is a striking photograph, sort of creepy but alluring.   See this slideshow on his website for a selection of 30 very striking photographs that masterly blends the arts of juxtaposition, the unexpected, and the staged surrelism.

Within the show are also photographs by Ralph Eugene Meatyard who also favored such a style, often using his children as subjects in his made up surreal images.  Meatyard was a local Kentucky photographer who was a member of the earlier Lexington Camera Club and died in the 70s just prior to the club folding.  For some time, his photography was collected and considered as good as the photographers such as Weston, Adams, and such.  Meatyard's popularity faded but has began a resurgence in recent years and I've ran across his photographs several times lately.  Meatyard had a tie in with Thomas Merton and also Wendell Berry, both of whom I have often written about.   See Meatyard's Wikipedia entry for more details.

Within our local camera club, we had a photographer in the mid 1980s who leaned toward "staged surrealism" and I remember not liking the images very well at all, but now after 30 years I can still distinctly remember them while I have forgotten most all the others.  That is one mark of success.