Wednesday, June 20, 2007

rough beauty

In his new book, Rough Beauty, photographer Dave Anderson takes us to the hard scrabble world of Vidor, Texas. His stark black and white portraits of this poor and isolated southeast Texas town conjure up the photographic tradition of Dorothea Lange with a touch of Diane Arbus thrown in.

Interspersed among the photos - the road kill raccoons, the junked cars, the young men clutching assault rifles and cigarettes - are comments from the subjects themselves, words that live up to the book’s title:

We threw grass on the chicken’s grave and were like “Why’d he have to die?”

You know what the definition of a brat is? The kid next door just like yours.

It’s a small town – it’s got everything you need except a movie theater and a mall.

I got 10 cats because they eat the rats. I figure a cat’s better than a rat.

This world wasn’t born to owe us anything. It was born for someone to do something on.

It’s always good to try to feed your children a bunch of information as you can each day. Tell them things all the time. Keep ‘em preoccupied with things. Even feed ‘em boredom. They have to have boredom because they have that time to think about the things you tell ‘em.

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