Ralph Eugene Meatyard, ‘Untitled (Figure and Boat)’, 1964/1974, ClampArt
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Untitled (Figure and Boat), 1964/1974

Gelatin silver print
7 × 7 in
17.8 × 17.8 cm
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Location
New York City
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About the work
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
American, 1925–1972
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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.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard, ‘Untitled (Figure and Boat)’, 1964/1974, ClampArt
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
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About the work
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
American, 1925–1972
Follow

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.

Untitled (Figure and Boat), 1964/1974

Gelatin silver print
7 × 7 in
17.8 × 17.8 cm
Contact For Price
Location
New York City
Have a question? Visit our help center.
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