Tuesday, October 30, 2012
New Orleans: Kevin Kline and Rick Oliver on One One Thousand
One One Thousand, the online photo magazine of the American South offers us for October work by two New Orleans-based photographers, Kevin Kline (no, not THAT Kevin Kline) and Rick Oliver.
Kline brings us street images (see image above) made his wanderings through the parishes of Louisiana, chiefly portraits, that document and celebrate the variety and diversity of the people of New Orleans and its surroundings.
Kline has a fine eye for people, and for their similarities and their differences, and he has this on display in these engaging images.
Rick Oliver's work attends more narrowly to the culture of Zydeco music and the people of Acadiana, the southwestern part of Louisiana, around Lafayette, New Iberia, Breau Bridge, and St Martinville. This is where French settlers in Canada wound up when they were run out of Canada by the English.
Somehow, French culture and African-American culture got together in Louisiana, and Zydeco music is a large part of the result. Also, they learned how to cook, if a really mediocre meal my wife and I once had in Nova Scotia that was supposedly French Canadian cooking was any evidence of how they were cooking before they moved South.
In any case, if you have not been to the Zydeco Brunch on Saturday morning at Cafe Des Amis in Breaux Bridge, you have a serious treat coming to you in Louisiana.
And while you are there, pick up a novel by James Lee Burke to take you into the complex heart of this part of the USA, and of its people.
Oliver has been there, and all over Cajun Louisiana, and says the "zydeco culture of Acadiana has provided me with the richest raw material an artist could ever hope to find. In these small town nightclubs and bars I discovered a warmth, passion, and visual delight that never failed to inspire me."
He has been making this work for over a decade, and gathered it into the book Zydeco! (University of Mississippi Press, 1999), which was awarded the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book Of The Year prize for 1999.
Both Kline and Oliver work in the classic black and white mode of traditional documentary photography, an appropriate choice for the folks they bring to us in these images.
Strong work, much to be appreciated.