Ralph Eugene Meatyard was born in the 1920’s and died in 1972. He is commonly best known for for photographing ‘ranging from several abstract manners to a form for the surreal’ as said by the man himself.
Meatyard’s use of props definitely wasnt rare among his works. Parts of dolls, dead animals such as birds and most notably - the masks. The images featuring these masks seem to to tell or imply a story.
For me, the masks appear to erase or hide the several individuals differences, which may give them a new identity like they’re characters or possess shared identities. Many of these photographs are posed like a family outing buy located in what looks like abandoned and derelict settings, making it unusual and unsettling to the viewers eye. His hauntingly gloomy images, always seem to have a strange eerie darkness about them, whether it be symbolically or visually because of the lack of light. Possibly deliberate movement of the camera and long exposures reinforces the idea of a supernatural-like state. Blurred and unknowable is a perfect description for these particular series of photographs