LOUISIANA - AMERICANA - Art

THE MAJORITY OF PHOTOS IN THIS GALLERY ARE FROM MY 2012 LOUISIANA BICENTENNIAL EXHIBITION, BUT I AM ALSO INCLUDING MANY EXTRA SHOTS FROM NOT ONLY LOUISIANA BUT FROM MISSISSIPPI. MOST PHOTOS WERE MADE WITH VINTAGE FILM CAMERAS- FROM GOOD SLRS AND RANGEFINDERS TO TOY PLASTIC CAMERAS. MY DESCRIPTION OF THE EXHIBIT FOR THE EXHIBIT: DOUG DUFFEY/LOUISIANA AMERICANA "With this year marking the 200th anniversary of Louisiana becoming a state, I thought, for this show, exhibiting various images I had captured from around the state was in order. I have been photographing my home, Louisiana, for almost half a century. I have many photos from all over the state; but have chosen to focus primarily on the Northeast Louisiana region and New Orleans, where I lived for many years. There are also a few shots from other regions in the state, as well as a few from Natchez and Vicksburg, which fit into the ‘Americana’ category. When selecting photos for this exhibit, I was also thinking of all the photographers of the FSA, during 1935–44 who went across America photographing the horrors of the great depression- especially in the destitute rural deep south [which, in some places, has NOT changed all that much] and how those images have stuck in my head forever; influencing my own work. I have, for as long as I can remember, been attracted to, if not obsessed with photographing deserted home places, shotgun houses, hand painted signs, folk art type things; rusted and falling down barns and abandoned buildings, junk stores, etc. Old wood, brick and rust excite me, when I see it; and I feel I have to capture it before it vanishes. In Louisiana rust, abandonment and decay are everywhere... but not forever I find beauty in the funkiness and eccentricity here; which is often overlooked. It is a major part of what I love to capture as a photographer: the beautiful, and the not so beautiful, the humorous, quirky, eccentric and the sad. I’ve always found Louisiana to be tragically beautiful; beautiful with an underlying sadness, mystery and magic about it; overflowing with majesty and soul, apparent in a lot of everyday things that we might overlook, not notice, or scarcely notice; things that we have become too accustomed to, which surround us; that we would see nowhere else… remnants of ages that are perishing, fading, quickly disappearing... either by man made or natural disasters. General Electric used to say, “Progress is our most important product,” It isn’t. When I see the devastation, annihilation, pollution and desecration: like forests being razed to put in a strip mall or a gated community, small towns abandoned and left to ruin; in some cases whole ‘city’ blocks leveled- it angers me. I try to capture the images of things I KNOW will not be here much longer; which, I think, at times, IS my 'raison d'être... to preserve the memory of what I can, while I can, for future generations through my photographs." Doug Duffey

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