Friday, June 29, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: That Haunting Quality

There's just something spooky about this shot of Bobby. 

Ordinarily, 1950s polaroids of children named Bobby don't give me the creeps. But since visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art a few days ago, I've been looking at my collection of found vintage family photographs in an entirely different light.

I paid visit to the museum specifically to see the exhibit of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, a somewhat obscure photographer who staged his family members in a choreographed creepy atmosphere with masks, dolls and dilapidated conditions. And the exhibit, aptly titled Dolls and Masks, was right down my dimly lit alley, let me just tell ya. 

Untitled. Ralph Eugene Meatyard 

It was unintentionally haunting, eerie, even disturbing. The youth of his children in the shadow of abandoned buildings and overgrown landscapes, surrounded by broken dolls was more than enough to absorb. But add the anonymity of the masks, the wrinkles and age spots in the illusion of old age. Just creepy, all around. 

And...well Bobby...He looks fit to wear one of the Meatyard masks, to cast away a broken doll in an abandoned property. Of course it only lends credence to the creep factor that Meatyard shot the above photo around the same time that this polaroid of Bobby was taken. Hmm. Interesting. 

What do you think?


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for turning me to Meatyard's work... very cool stuff, going to check it out.
P.S. More creepy photos please! :D

Jackie Jardine said...

Hey thanks for the creepy request. So glad other folks out there get some kind of sick enjoyment out of really bizarro stuff!

I'm really digging Meatyard right now. His work is so haunting, though he didn't necessarily intend it to be. Interesting stuff.

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

Vanessa said...

I wish I could have seen that exhibit. Must check out that guy's work- it's exactly my style :D

Jackie Jardine said...

It was an incredible sight to behold. Rather creepy. I knew you'd appreciate it. Some of the shots look like stills from something akin to Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

<3Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!