Saturday, April 24, 2010


The FotoFest 2010 Biennial closes this weekend in Houston and what remains is a catalogue including five curatorial essays on the work in the exhibitions with an introduction by Charlotte Cotton.

The catalogue is available for purchase thru the FOTOFEST STORE and PHOTO-EYE BOOKSTORE.

Thank you to curator Aaron Schuman for his beautiful essay about the work in Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs. Four of my images (Bedroom, Teenage Boy, Couple Embraces, Winter Gas Station) were reproduced in the catalogue, and Aaron's insight into my own work was moving to say the very least.

Excerpt from Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs, page 38:

Finally, Tema Stauffer, who focused American masculinity and male adolescence in her portraiture series The Ballad Of Sad Young Men (2008), includes several such portraits within her broader and more extensive body of work: American Stills (1997-2009). Returning to the eclecticism of the first chapter of American Photographs, and under a similarly sweeping heading, Stauffer presents an assortment of sharply poetic observations of a country that at times can be angry, melancholy, brutal, and cold, but can also be enchantingly majestic and profoundly moving. Throughout the series there is a critical yet immensely forgiving sense of real compassion at work - a profound love for the subject, with all of its flaws - which strikes straight at the soul of the matter, in the most ordinary places and everyday moments. Rather than simply testifying to waste, selfishness, imminent collapse, and so on, Stauffer's Stills represent a truly committed and heartfelt attempt at unearthing the "splendid" from the "whatever" of contemporary America.

- Aaron Schuman

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