Willam Christenberry - Kudzu

above image: ‘Kudzu Devouring Building, near Greensboro, Alabama, 2004’
Photo by WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY – & – the front image on …

.. the card for the exhibit: ‘WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY – Photographs 1961- 2005’
‘A poetic documentation of the American South’, the summer exhibit at:

William Christenberry # 4

above image scanned from the aperture SPRING 2006 BOOK catalog – front cover
Photo: WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY, ‘Palmist Building (Summer),
Havana Junction, Alabama, 1980’ – from the publication William Christenberry

William Christenberry-opening portrait

WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY (center, in white suit) at the opening of his
summer 2006 exhibit, ‘WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY – Photographs 1961-2005’
at the Aperture Foundation Gallery, Chelsea, NYC, July 6, 2006
Photo: Nancy Smith

William Christenberry was born in 1936. That makes him 70 and he’s
totally sharp, right on and super relevant. He has been a professor at
the Corcoran College of Art and Design since 1968.

One of the more interesting technical aspects of the show, were
the archival ‘snapshot’ KODAK BROWNIE camera prints.
Back in the day, ca 1940-50, first in black and white, and apparently in
color on thru the 60’s, young kids, teens and famillies, used the
‘amateur’ BROWNIE cameras, to take ‘snapshots’ – the way cell phone
and digital cameras are in use today. Mr. Christenberry went on to
use 35mm and 8-by-10 cameras. It’s super interesting to see the
different final photo productions from the varying photo equipment
and film processing.

note: PHILIP GEFTER wrote a very compelling and informative article for this
exhibit in THE NEW YORK TIMES, SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2006 – if you missed it –
here’s how it began:

“Mr. Christenberry was born in 1936 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, not 20 miles
away from the migrant farmers (Walker) Evans photographed that same year
and later published in “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” with text
by James Agee.

“The sharecroppers in Evans’s photographs lived in a house across the
cotton fields from the farm owned by Mr. Christenberry’s grandparents.
By the time Mr. Christenberry discovered the book, in 1960, he was a
young artist. When he moved to New York the next year, it took him
months to work up the courage to call Evans, then picture editor at Fortune …”

.. anybody out there relate to this !! Apparently it was a good experience.
Evans encouraged Mr. Christenberry, even to the extent that he told him to leave
New York and return to the South and continue his work. Mr Christenberry,
for his part, was smart enough to heed really good advice when he got it,
and by 1962 he was back South in Memphis.

more photos from the opening