Tuesday, November 14, 2006

dave anderson: rough beauty

["breeze," dave anderson, 2004, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches, sheet]

hard scrabble existence eked out by most of the residents of vidor, texas, are worthy of our attention. “rough beauty,” dave anderson’s show at clampart conveys this conviction. at the same time, anderson’s photography emphatically leaves the crude edges of this difficult existence intact. vidor—not too far from janis joplin’s hometown of port arthur—is a poor rural town burdened and branded by its past, and reviled for its history of ku klux klan activities. (the bill simpson murder is one notorious case of resistance by its white residents to desegregation.) anderson’s work digs beneath this obdurate veneer to explore the character of those maintaining despite poverty and allied hardship in an economic dismalness reminiscent of the great depression.

born in michigan in 1970, anderson first worked on bill clinton’s triumphant (and media savvy) 1992 campaign before joining the white house press office. later he joined mtv’s “choose or lose,” a comprehensive on- and off-air political awareness campaign for young voters about upcoming campaigns. anderson toured the country in the “choose or lose” bus that ultimately logged more than 85,000 miles through 48 states in order to assist registration of young voters in conjunction with “rock the vote.” after working on al gore’s ill-fated campaign, anderson joined a startup film production company in new york. hungry to document obscure parts of america that had eluded him while traveling for mtv, anderson hit the road with his camera. what was his only rule? he would not drive on any road larger than two lanes. the resulting sensitive and atmospheric prints reflect the influence of his teachers keith carter and michael kenna.

organized in conjunction with the release of anderson’s monograph of the same title from dewi lewis publishing, his clampart show runs from november 16 to december 16, 2006. check out the work of this winner of the santa fe center for photography’s project composition in 2005 whom germany’s fotomagazin has called one of the “shooting stars of the american photo scene.”

clampart/nov 16-dec 16, 2006/521-531 West 25th Street/
ground floor/nyc 10001/646.230.0020/f646.230.8008/
www.clampart.com/tuesday-saturday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

rough beauty/dave anderson/hardback, 120 pages
with 90 duotone photographs/dewi lewis publishing/
united kingdom/http://www.dewilewispublishing.com/

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