Dave Anderson

Rough Beauty

June 9 – August 20, 2007

In 2003, I began to photograph Vidor, Texas.

Originally from the Midwest and having lived most of my adult years in the Northeast, I had heard that Vidor was a “Klan Town” and was curious to learn what, exactly, constituted such a place. What I found was not at all what I had expected.

A small rural community in the Southeast corner of Texas, Vidor is a complex place: on the one hand it is hospitable, tight-knit and fiercely, wonderfully, independent. And yet the town is also a deeply suspicious place ­bordering on the paranoid. Despite its many complexities, there is no doubt that it is a community of absolutely remarkable resiliency and homespun inventiveness. As the town attempts to move beyond its past, its pride combined with the everyday fact of living with a permanent kind of American poverty, makes the journey a difficult one.

Through these photographs I hope to provide a psychological landscape of Vidor: a place, which, despite its many flaws, always shows a rough kind of beauty.

– Dave Anderson, 2007

At the age of 9, Dave Anderson began photographing with a Kodak Instamatic camera. After working in various fields ranging from being a member of President Bill Clinton’s staff to working at an independent movie studio, he took-up photography full-time after participating in a course at the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York City . Named a “Rising Star” by Photo District News in 2004, Anderson received the 2005 Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition prize for his series “Rough Beauty”. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at ClampArt in NYC, the Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA; the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; and, in 2008, at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Il. Dave has been published in various media including The New York Times, NPR, Newsweek, British Journal of Photography, and is in the collection of various museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA. In fall 2006 Dewi Lewis Publishing ( UK ) produced a monograph of his work, entitled Rough Beauty with text by Anne Wilkes Tucker, Curator of photographs at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, TX.