photo-eye Gallery Selected Works - Keith Carter on BogDog photo-eye Gallery's current exhibit titled Selected Works is a group show of photographic prints highlighting the diverse styles and subject matter embraced by photo-eye Gallery artists. This week we feature Keith Carter.
In this final installment of the Selected Works blog series, we take a look at Keith Carter's enigmatic new series Ghostland. We are pleased to have Carter's equisite BogDog tintype currently on view in Selected Works, and asked Mr. Carter to comment on both his new series, and his image.
|Heron, 1998 – Keith Carter|
For more than 30 years Keith Carter has used traditional photographic materials to cultivate an extended portrait of the Southern identity, placing particular attention to his home of Beaumont, Texas. Far from straight documentary, Carter’s black-and-white images echo with notes of religion, Southern Folklore, mythology, and whimsy, and have been featured in over 11 monographs — including, most recently 2011’s reprint of From Uncertain to Blue. When asked about the development of his personal photographic voice, Carter once said: “I come out of a documentary tradition, but after awhile I wanted to put my own stamp on things. It became clear to me that the subject matter I really cared about had to do with a sense of place, of geography, of the animal world, of the spiritual world and the elements of theology and folklore.”
|Keith Carter – Photographed by Sam Keith, 2013|
In 2011, Carter began working in antique and alternative processes, eschewing his near ubiquitous medium format camera to create images as wet-plate collodion tintypes. This exploration in process and style lead to Carter’s newest body of work Ghostland, and we are pleased to feature Carter’s exquisite BogDog tintype from the series in Selected Works. In Carter’s own words:“The BogDog tintype was made as part of an ongoing series called Ghostland; an exploration of the ecological and spiritual peculiarities found in Southern Wetlands. I think of it as a kind of intersection where a Darwinian wonderland might meet magical realism. Slow exposures are inherent in historical processes such as tintypes, and the relative sharpness is mostly luck. The magnificent animal is not.” While describing Ghostland, New Orleans art critic and journalist D. Eric Bookhardt notes that “Carter delves into the rich recesses of mythology and the human psyche to explore the common threads of human and animal attraction, reminding us that we are products of the same earth.”
|BogDog, 2014 – Keith Carter|
As a print BogDog is dark, rich, and captivating. Rough, slightly reflective, and pewter in color the print’s unbalanced blotted patina references the Irish Wolfhound's wild coat. The animal’s stance, with upward pointed snout, adds an air of majesty, while the plate’s texture and varied tonalities seed mystery and mythology by fogging the background. At 8x10 inches the plate is small in size compared to its contemporaries, but its intricate detail and sullen pallet invites intimate contemplation. When seen in person the object is nearly as handsome as the animal it depicts.
See More Images by Keith Carter
Read more from the Selected Works series