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Jack Spencer

From Rural Life With Love: A Look at Jack Spencer’s Painterly Photographs

June 26, 2017 - Haniya Rae

Mississippi-born Jack Spencer is a self-taught photographer known for his stark but breathtaking images of rural life in the American South and West, as well as Mexico. His photos are generally dark, sometimes almost haunted looking, as each scene or portrait is made to look old, as if a patina has developed on its surface. This is not by accident; in the darkroom, Spencer often manipulates his images by painting or adding mixed media glazes on top of the photograph. The end result looks something like a hazy dream. Spencer’s aesthetic could be likened to the magical realist writers Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez, whose writing inspires his images.