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“A case in point is this collection of images made by the rural renegade photographer Liza Macrae, who seems to belong to no school, follows no fashion, and has been creating a breathtaking body of work beneath - or perhaps beyond - the cultural radar for years. Here are 39 photographs of startling originality, all of which, singly and together, sharpen to a fine point the mysterious distinction between what an ordinary person sees and what a gifted artist sees. Here there are no combat zones, no erupting volcanoes no movie stars, no freaks, and, really, nothing that would be beyond the purview of any camera owning American with access to a child, a house, a room, a sink, a tub, a dog, sky, or water. Yet in image after image, Macrae
de-mystifies the mysterious, and re-mystifies the mundane. The refusal of these images to announce their own specialness becomes part of the spell they cast. They say to us: You could see this too, if only you would.
A few of these pictures have an eerie, haunted quality - they could almost be stills from a horror movie. Her photograph, for example, of the abandoned house with a tricycle nosed into a corner, standing there like a punished child whose vanished family has forgotten to forgive him. Yet infused in the desolation of this image is a visual nostalgia for the life these now bare rooms once enclosed, a life suggested by the candy colored exuberance of the walls themselves. “
“What links these beautiful photographs is that they are all the product of the direct, private pleasure Macrae takes in the act of looking at something in the world that has caught her eye. That pleasure is both intimate, and linked to a sly, amused curiosity that is rare and delightful. Each image makes you want to keep looking. Marvelous!”
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