Condition Report: Dry mounted to board measuring 14 x 12 inches; overall toning with minor soiling and foxing to the mount; minor foxing to the image; silver mirroring noticeable in raking light; one approximate two inch abrasion extending from the upper left edge; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 14 X 12 Inches
Signature: The Center for Photographic Studies stamp mount verso.
Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions
The Estate of Gay Ann Burke
About Ralph Eugene Meatyard
By vocation an optician, by avocation a self-described “dedicated amateur” photographer, Ralph Eugene Meatyard 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 ’50s, he began incorporating monstrous, oversized latex masks and hands, and plastic dolls into his photographs. His family and friends were the protagonists in his carefully composed scenes, their heads consumed by the masks, plastic dolls often arranged about them. For Meatyard, who was inspired by 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.