04 March 2011
There was a bit of buzz about this week's photography spotlight about a year and a half ago after The Sartorialist mentioned him as an artistic inspiration. Viewing the photos you can certainly see why. Mike Disfarmer's photographs predate street style photography by several decades and give an amazing glimpse into fashion and lives of people from early 20th century Arkansas (Starr, these made me think of you!).
Not only are the photos lovely to look at, Mr. Disfarmer was quite a character to behold as well. Born Mike Meyers in 1884 he changed his surname to Disfarmer (meaning "not a farmer) to rebel against his immigrant family's way of life. He even claimed to have been deposited into the Meyer's family via tornado! Ironically, after an actual tornado destroyed his family's home he set up a studio on Main Street and invited local townspeople and passers-through to be photographed.
He used glass plate negatives, a method that was considered out-dated at the time, leaving behind images that are rich and detailed. He never posed or prompted his subject resulting in images that give a very honest glimpse into the lives of his subjects.
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