McNair Evans

Photographer McNair Evans first became interested in using Photography as a tool of expression while completing his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology at Davidson College in North Carolina in 2000. He later received a M.F.A. in Photography from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco in 2011 where he currently practices today. McNair’s work draws parallels between the lives of individuals and universally shared experiences and is most recognized for a distinct and metaphoric use of light. In 2011 McNair was awarded CENTER’s Curator’s Choice to a recent project, A Journal of Southern History by the San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, Assistant Curator Erin O’Toole. The Indie Photobook Library and Darius Himes have curated the work into an upcoming show for Fotoweek DC and it’s currently included in the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2012.

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There was no man that my father admired more than his father, and no one his father admired more than the man who raised him. Upon his death in November 2000, I was exposed to my father’s insolvency and looming debts. Five generations of familial and financial stability fractured beneath me. While the economic effects were immediately obvious, the psychological and emotional implications lingered beneath the surface for nine years, growing to dominate my life.

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Recognizing their increasing influence on my work and family, I returned home in 2010 to photograph the lasting emotional and psychological landscape of Dad’s legacy. I photographed his family members and agriculturally based businesses while researching his character and actions. Dad’s life led me from rural North Carolina to New England, through moods of acceptance and frustration. Emotional states became my subject and these photographs narrate my journey between isolation and acceptance. Each speaks simultaneously of past and present experiences. Finally accepting that some questions may never be answered, this series evokes critical moods without definitive explanations.

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In Deep South, Bulfinch 2005, Sally Mann writes, “To identify a person as a Southerner is to suggest not only that her history is inescapable and profoundly formative but that it is also paralyzing present.” A Journal of Southern History combines emotive expression, persistence of family and a landscape of loss to reveal inherent dichotomies in my rural North Carolina home. Experiential and responsive, this work utilizes photography’s relationship with literature to explore intersections between the individual and society, the immediate and the intangible.

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San Francisco based Owl & Tiger Books will release a monograph of this work in September 2013.

To see more of McNairs work visit his website.

Highlight by Taylor Curry.