Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Romance of Ambrose Bierce #3
Romance of Ambrose Bierce #3 [Romance (N.) from Ambrose Bierce #3]
Ralph Eugene Meatyard Untitled (Mask in Water)
Untitled (Mask in Water)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Lucybelle Crater and her 15 year old son's friend
Lucybelle Crater and her 15 year old son’s friend
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Untitled (boy making gesture)
Untitled (Boy Making Gesture) [Michael and Christopher]
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Untitled (boy with flag)
Untitled (Boy with Flag) [Christopher and the Rebuilding of America]
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Madonna
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Cranston Richie
Cranston Richie
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Figure and Wall Detail
Untitled (Figure and Wall Detail)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Figure and Boat
Untitled (Figure and Boat)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Motion-Sound Landscape
Untitled (“Motion-Sound” Landscape)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Boy Dressed as Airplane Pilot
Untitled (Guy Mendes) [Boy Dressed as Airplane Pilot]

An optician by trade, Ralph Eugene Meatyard was a self-described “dedicated amateur” photographer.  He pursued his own vision to produce an exquisitely enigmatic, widely admired body of work. Meatyard began taking photographs in 1950, roaming the backwoods and towns in Kentucky, experimenting with framing, multiple exposures, and blurring to produce haunting, abstracted images of natural and manmade environments. In the late 1950s, he began incorporating monstrous, oversized latex masks and hands into his photographs, in addition to plastic dolls. His family and friends were the protagonists in his carefully composed scenes. For Meatyard, who was inspired by literature, Zen Buddhism, and jazz, the masks served to equalize his subjects and shift focus elsewhere—to the poignant juxtaposition of otherworldly faces on human bodies, to the ambiguous and unknowable in human nature.

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