Walker Evans Essay, Research Paper
Walker Evans was born in 1903 in St. Louis Missouri. He grew up in Toledo, Chicago, and New York City. In 1922 Evans graduated from college after studying literature. Six years later he decided to become a photographer. In 1930 his first photographs were published.
Walker Evans was an important contributor to the development of American documentary photography in the 1930 s. His photos are well detailed depictions of people and artifacts of American life (Masters 1). His photographs showed the poverty in America during the 1930 s. Evans primarily photographed environments rather than people. He believed that an artist s task was to face head-on the hardest realities and report them to the larger world (Masters 1). Evans photographs were mostly taken looking directly at the subject. He took pictures according to what he believed would affect people the most.
This is a photograph of a roadside stand near Birmingham, Alabama taken in 1936. The photo consists of a building advertising fresh fish and fresh vegetables for sale. There are two boys outside holding up melons. There are a few more people inside doing business. On the outside of the store you can see melons for sale as well as other vegetables. In this picture the point of view is straightforward. The placement of the boys and the way the vegetables are positioned makes this photograph symmetrical. Shape is one strong element in this photograph. The boys, the melons, and the building make up the shapes. Texture can be seen in the ground as well as in the boys clothes. The artists intent is to show a hard working rural family and the business they operate. I do not think this picture is too different than places that could be found to day. The prices may be lower and the items different, but it is the same idea.
On April 10, 1975 Walker Evans died in New Haven, Connecticut. Evans was well known during his lifetime and after his death. His pictures are looked upon as reflections from the depression. His pictures were always taken with a serious mood. Evans pictures were taken in ways that would most affect the American people. Walker Evans will always be known as a great documentary photographer.