Original Disfarmer Photographs
Original Disfarmer Photographs is the first publication presenting the vintage prints of Mike Disfarmer (1884-1959), one of Americas greatest portraitists. For a half century Disfarmer was the peoples photographer of Heber Springs, Arkansas. He made studio portraits at pennies a picture to satisfy his rural clients, yet he was an odd genius who created a style of portraiture all his own. Until now Disfarmer has been known to the world only through prints made from negatives found years after his death. Now, with the discovery of his vintage prints, we get to see the pictures as he made them.
The Disfarmer pictures are startling experiences; their subjects come out to us with the vividness and clarity of unaltered reality itself. We must wonder at the art and craft and purpose that produced such a gallery of provincial characters unforgettable in their intense inwardness and vulnerability, etched with the urgency which gives the Disfarmer pictures their aura of inscrutable drama. A distillation of an acerbic, perhaps tragic view of life with something quirky, homespun, and deeply intuitive, it’s the art of Disfarmer that puts him in touch with time and place, that gives his portraits their power as singular and hence visionary documents.
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