The red-drunk atmosphere
Of the hour settled on his throat
As a wicked, dark bird
Now plucked bare of reason
Blind fist, swings wild toward bone
Weakness is leverage
He bids dark wings goodbye
Fond shame dissolved in glass and pipe
The next joke in his dreams
When our landlord of nine years died, we were evicted and hastily forced into a rental market that had changed considerably since we had originally signed our old lease. Everything had gotten so goddamed expensive! Staying within our tiny-ass budget, we ended up in a weird little house on Houston’s very north side in a rough barrio that was supposedly controlled by a very powerful gang from Mexico.
The house was in a wooded, green lot enclosed within a nine-foot high fence. The owner and previous tenant, an older mand who, at first blush seemed to be a hippie, had excavated all the dirt out from underneath the house as an interim step to building a basement. The basement was never completed, so the house was balanced on stacks of cinderblocks and bottle-jacks over a huge, muddy pit that filled up with water during Houston’s heavy rains but remained weirdly dry and cool during the unmerciful summer months. Rumor had it that the owner had planned to grow weed under the house. So he was a hippie at second blush as well.
These pictures were taken in the back yard of that house in a grove of bamboo that the owner had planted so that the morning sun would not fall on his bedroom window.
I’ll be honest with you. I’m not a fan of fashion photography. I worked for a quite a while in the advertising community and during my time, one of the things I learned is that fashion photographers are generally massive fascists, models are usually so brazenly stupid they border on evil. Everything that co-ordinates the relationship between these two forces is a compacted bowel-movment of the same fascism and wanton idiocy that demands so many foolish excesses. Insane amounts of money are spent on makeup artists, wardrobe sylists, locations, catering, transport and just general, wasteful ass-licking.
Hell, the cameras and lenses used to photograph the warped fantasy so many people have worked so hard to create can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But that’s not enough, not yet. Then the Photoshop wizards conjure up flawless skies, sapphire oceans, silky mannequin skin-tones and grotesque body proportions that express nothing but contempt for creation itself.
And yet I thought these photographs would be fun to do and I got my wife to go along with it. She ain’t hard to look at.
Text and Images © Andrew Auten – All Rights Reserved