Monday, October 31, 2011

all dolled up

What I enjoy most about Halloween photographs is the juxtaposition of costumes and their environments.  Halloween in this country is a very iconic holiday and can easily be recognized as such in family albums.  Take for example this one of me and my sister circa 1991. 

Just Satan and a crappy ghost in a weird hat hanging out by the door.  Anyone who sees this knows its a couple of proud little kids about to go rake in all the snack size candy bars in the neighborhood.  My mother took this photo of us and I am sure part of it was done to have a reminder of the hours she spent cuting fabric, sewing on garnishes, and pancaking our plump faces. 

All of the best ideas I have had have started with a singular object or isolated  concept.  What is intriguing are the elements included that have been left undisturbed.  Take for example my sister's tropical socks or my half-chewed on sneakers in the photo above. 

Ralph Eugene Meatyard's photographs exhibit a mastering of this feeling to me.  This one is taken from  a series of 10 images titled The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater.  The fictional Lucybelle Crater is played by Meatyard's wife Madelyn.

Amy Stein has some charming Halloween photographs, but some great old family snapshots can be found on this blog.

 For Halloween, I will say not that I chose my costume but that it chose me.  A black PVC full length jumpsuit was set in my lap so it was up to me to procure cornrows and spiked boots and become Madonna ala Human Nature.  There is nothing very special about this photo except it is the only proof of the weekend that remains in my hands. 

Happy Halloween.