Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Ralph Eugene Meatyard... Lucybelle Carter and B.T.F. Friend (c. 1970-72, gelatin silver print). From Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Peter Freeman Inc. "...A unifying concept behind many of the series is 'exactly the right touch of unusual into an authentically banal American usualness,' as poet and close friend of the artist Guy Davenport wrote in 2004. In the influential series The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater, what at first glance could be commonplace family snapshots are transformed by the grotesque masks worn by the subjects. In fact, Meatyard commonly used his family and friends in his compositions. In the Romances series, figures, particularly his children, are set in wooded landscapes and abandoned houses as if on stage; sharing a sense of melancholia with the Lucybelle Crater works, they tempt a yearning to know the story behind the scene, although Meatyard himself never directed the observer how to interpret the images."