Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Praise for Oraien Catledge

Chad Radford, art critic at Creative Loafing Atlanta, recently reviewed Oraien Catledge: Photographs. Radford takes a long look at the Atlanta suburb that transformed Catledge into the photographer that is showcased in UPM's collection. 

Radford explicitly draws the connection out saying:
Catledge’s photos are a concrete link to that past, but this book doesn’t attempt to present the work as an exotic documentary. Richard Ford’s introduction and Constance Lewis’ Q&A with Catledge bookend a cross-section of photos scanning Catledge’s body of work, while illuminating a bit about the man behind the camera, rather than staying fixed on the smudged faces of his subjects.

Radford also praises Catledge's ability to treat his hardscrabble subjects without exploitation or judgment.
Children, adults, withered elders and their tiny dogs all hold the same, modest yet stoic gaze. Life was hard for everyone in Cabbagetown, but Catledge made no attempts to draw that out, dress it up or exploit it. One of his strongest qualities as a photographer is that there is no editorializing going on these scenes of a day-in-the-life for a mother and child, a husband and wife, a dilapidated mill town.

Also, see my earlier post about Catledge featuring video of Catledge talking about the Cabbagetown community. 

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