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Dave Anderson March 21, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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BBQ Queen”, from the project Rough Beauty, Vidor, Texas, 2004

Dave Anderson (b. 1970, United States) has been recognized as “one of the shooting stars of the American photo scene” by Germany’s fotoMAGAZIN and named a “Rising Star” by PDN. His project Rough Beauty was the winner of the 2005 National Project Competition from the Santa Fe Center for Photography and became the focus of his first book, which was published in three languages. His latest monograph, One Block: A New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilds, was published in 2010 by Aperture Books and featured in the New York Times and Time as well as on Good Morning America and CNN. Dave is a former MTV producer and currently producing a video series called So Lost created for the Oxford American Magazine as well as a project for NPR called Southword.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken as part of a project I did called Rough Beauty. All the photographs were taken in and around the town of Vidor, Texas. One of the biggest events of the year is homecoming parade. The parade is bigger then their 4th of July celebration. There’s also an associated beauty pageant to name a “Miss Barbecue.” The key thing to remember is that there’s not just one Miss Barbecue for girls of most ages. By my memory, there’s Miss BBQ, Junior Miss BBQ, Little Miss BBQ, Mini Miss BBQ and Tiny Miss BBQ. Even Tiny Miss got her own car in the parade —even if she was just six months of age.”

“I found this girl standing around waiting for her car to be parade-ready. She was very pretty in her white dress but she was trying to hide her embarrassing black sneakers. She said, rather plaintively, “Please don’t show my shoes…” While I wasn’t able to honor that request, I did try to burn down (darken in the dark room) her shoes a bit. So the moment with her as well as the general awkwardness of the situation was quite resonant. But the other thing that I think really makes the photo is the absolute boredom of her brother, who stands sullenly off to the the side — just waiting for it all to be over.”

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