Wyatt McSpadden Shows Us How It's Done. A gallery exhibit of photographs from Mississippi.
My friend Wyatt is having a show at the Gallery@Lewis-Carnegie at 1312-B E. Cesar Chavez in Austin, Texas. The images are from a ten day shooting trip he did with a writer named, John Morthland, through Mississippi way back in the 1990's. They were working for a magazine on a story about musicians in Mississippi.
All of the images in the show are black and white. The prints were done digitally by a master printer at Agave Gallery from black and white negatives that started life in medium format cameras from the time period.
The show opened on my birthday. Belinda and I went by the gallery to find Aaron Franklin of Franklin's BBQ slicing gorgeous hunks of brisket for Wyatt's guests (this being the BBQ equivalent of having Willie Nelson playing at your opening.....). The royalty of the Austin photo community all showed up. The energy in the courtyard was amazing. But the work was even better. Many of the prints were of older, African-American musicians and all 40 of the prints were square; from square format film.
How good is this show? Well, I consider myself to be two things: First, a really good critic of photography, and second, a really tight-fisted person when it comes to spending money on anything but cameras, good wine and lenses. I walked into the gallery, took a spin around the show and immediately pulled cash out of my wallet to buy a print that just hit me right between the eyes. Perfect content, perfect execution and perfect printing. Cash money to buy work from another photographer (which is one thing we might consider doing more often). My logic? Buy work you love from people who are better artists than you and learn by osmosis...
The show is really, really good but it's only running through the 10th of November. If you are one of my Austin photography friends you need to get your butt over to the gallery and check out the beautifully done prints. Just seeing the prints is a master class in understanding what is possible in the printing arena. Seeing what's in the prints is even better.
For all my VSL readers outside Austin I went by today and shot an interview with Wyatt. He talks about the show, the experience of shooting it and, for all the gear appreciators, he even delves into technique. I'm booked to shoot a conference on Sunday evening, Monday and Tues. but I'll try to have the video edited and up by the end of the week. I loved the video footage (from a gear nerd perspective) and the audio from my AT 835 shotgun microphone was really good. Can't wait to cut it together.
Go see this show. So refreshing to have a photographer make a statement with actual, physical work; shared with all comers, instead of just a stream of pontifications on a blog...