November 2, 2011 10:25 AM   Subscribe

Portrait with Catfish. Pictures of people and their large catfish.

Also see the artist's Beardfolio.
posted by OmieWise (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why is everyone holding them by the mouth? I like the dude who's cradling his like a(n enormous) baby.
posted by eugenen at 10:33 AM on November 2, 2011

Noodlin', previously.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:35 AM on November 2, 2011

I have mixed feelings on the hipstery-art-photos-of-'hicks' genre; sometimes it can come off as patronizing. I like these though ...they seem lighthearted and sincere.

The "beardfolio" on the other hand is like SWPL squared.
posted by pete_22 at 10:36 AM on November 2, 2011

Pretty much a pain in the ass to browse through. Hope they were all eaten (The fish, I mean).
posted by elmaddog at 10:37 AM on November 2, 2011

And there's Homer and General Sherman. In related news, I just discovered that my grandfather called himself Homer.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:40 AM on November 2, 2011

Why is everyone holding them by the mouth? I like the dude who's cradling his like a(n enormous) baby.

Catfish have spines that can hurt you if you're not careful, but they don't have teeth, so a lot of people just pick them up by the mouth.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:45 AM on November 2, 2011

I want to drag the phrases "stuff white people like" and "first world problems" from their natural habitats with my bare hands and leave them gasping for oxygen on the bottom of my boat until they eventually suffocate.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:56 AM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh and let's grab "raping my childhood" while we're down there in the muck and slime.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:58 AM on November 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

Ahh cool, I'm glad to see that whole cute guys with cats meme that some female friends like has started branching out.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:09 AM on November 2, 2011

Woulda been cooler if they were still alive.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:17 AM on November 2, 2011

I am not saying that working class tourism has been centeral to these discourses for a long time, but he is pretty directly qouting Avedon's In the American West seires--adn i mean you could quite fairly call Avedon on the same shit--but the use of the white background, and the kind of Camera Avedon used, and the extension out of their world riffs on photographs supposed neutrality in a way that makes the politics of depiction really complicated.

I have never been sure how much Avedon is making fun of his subjects, how much treating them like he treats Penolpe Tree or Davina is him thinking they are freaks or them thinking they deserve the same kind of respect--and this giving birth to this kind of work, is equally problematic.

In the American West was good at diversity, and pretty even on gender as well.

This guy, i mean he's taking Avedon's riff--and he says right on the website that's what he's doing, but its such a tight set, and such a narrow focus, and Okie Noodling has been treated as freak of the week for decades--it seems there is less tension in this work, and when the tension slacks it does become a bit of class tourism.

Which is a little unfortunate, because (and I will have to see them printed), he seems quite talented, and the work is well shot, well composed, and shows some personality in the people in question.

a link to the In the American West: here
posted by PinkMoose at 11:20 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I was expecting (hoping for) some kind of
posted by Kabanos at 11:24 AM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

So I have a GIANT plecostomus and before I clicked I thought how do you reduce the glare from the tank... I hope they show techniques...

OH Catfish...
(This really happened)
posted by mrgroweler at 12:45 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by Evernix at 1:52 PM on November 2, 2011

Woulda been cooler if they were still alive.

Wait, did he just lean the people against the wall or are they zombies?
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:48 PM on November 2, 2011

I'm a big Disfarmer fan, thanks for this.
posted by jessamyn at 4:08 PM on November 2, 2011

and just like that, pow -- the internet gives birth to a new rule 34
posted by kickback at 10:07 PM on November 2, 2011

Wow, I'm so flattered and can't believe this many people are commenting on this project. I'll try to answer the any questions.
@OmieWise Thanks for posting this today!
@pete_22 Sincerity is a huge compliment, thanks!
@eugenen They don't have teeth and some of the spines on their sides can do a nice job of jabbing.
@nathancaswell Yeah!
@Bulgaroktonos Looks like you beat me to the explanation.
@elmaddog Bummed to hear you were having problems navigating the site. Anyone else? I can bring that up with my web designer.
@six-or-six-thirty Actually, they all have to be alive at weigh-in in order to qualify for the competition. These guys have elaborate tanks with aerator systems in the backs of their trucks just for this purpose.
@PinkMoose Mostly I'm so flattered to read such an in depth review of my work... thanks! I'm very concerned with being honest and straightforward with my work and never want to make a portrait that my subjects will be ashaimed of. I hope this clears me of the charges of class tourism. As further evidence I submit my portrait on my contact page.
@mrgroweler Sounds like a cool fish. If you want to photograph it in the tank I recommend getting a large dark sheet to hang behind you / the camera. this will cut down on reflections in the glass. Next, turn off your flash and try shooting from a tripod.
@Evernix Thanks
@beaucoupkevin Zombie fish wranglers could make a great comic... I want a credit if you ever pull that one off.
@kickback What is rule 34

Thanks everybody!
posted by MattRainwaters at 12:09 AM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was most likely an asshole there--i really love the quality here, the effect of the people, and how it isn't swampslotation. I spend a lot of time on working class stuff, so i am most likely working through my own class anxiety.

It took me a long time to figure out how I felt about In the American West, and it came down to seeing Adams work that made me re-evaluate how i felt about the studio blankness in a lot of this work--i distrust the white sheet background, because of it's lack of context, but it also startles, and pushes the people and the subject to the forefront...

The tension there, the contexts and the performative nature of the work, is found here, and you have thought alot about it. Thanks for coming and responding, and sorry for my shortness.

It just makes me a little nervous.

(you forget there are real people around)
posted by PinkMoose at 1:42 AM on November 3, 2011

Actually, i would really like to see a seires of the trucks, of the aretors, of the location of the fish, of the fish being weighed--but you know thats my aesthetic, how i work, its persumptous that i assume about other people working...

(also, see if you can find a way to browse thru the shots)
posted by PinkMoose at 1:44 AM on November 3, 2011

ignore the last comment, im a moron
posted by PinkMoose at 1:45 AM on November 3, 2011

Love these. I'm surprised that this photographer was unknown to me up to now. I like the style, the execution, and pretty much everything else about these pictures.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:46 AM on November 3, 2011

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