I like small moments that are almost elliptical, that are not necessarily linear…they’re natural things that happen in the world, but if you look at them from a slight angle there’s more than meets the eye.
– Keith Carter
Keith Carter is an American photographer known for his dreamlike images of animals, still lifes, portraits, and figures in landscapes. Using black-and-white photography and varied focuses, he creates a mysterious sense of mythology and disorientation, making strange the familiar places and people of his native East Texas. Born June 3, 1948 in Madison, WI, he grew up in Beaumont, TX, and went on to study business administration at Lamar University in Beaumont. After graduating, Carter began producing both personal and commercial photography. His photography has earned him the Texas Medal of Arts and the Lange-Turner Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, as well as a distinguished faculty position, and the endowed Walles Chair of Art at Lamar University. Carter has published 11 monographs including From Uncertain to Blue (1988), Holding Venus (2000), and Fireflies: Photographs of Children (2009). Lauded as “a transcendent realist” and “a poet of the ordinary,” Keith’s work has been shown in over one hundred solo exhibitions in thirteen countries. Carter first found his subjects in the familiar, yet exotic, places and people of his native East Texas. The artist’s works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Carter lives and works in Beaumont, TX.
For the past two decades he has expanded his range not only geographically, but also into realms of dreams and imagination, where objects of the mundane world open glimpses into ineffable realities. Keith Carter examines the history of photography as well as our own shared histories. He explores relationships that are timeless, enigmatic, and mythological. Drawing from the animal world, popular culture, folklore, and religion, Carter presents photographs that attempt to reflect hidden meanings in the real world. Carter makes photographs addressing the relationship we have to our ideas of place, time, memory, desire, and regret.