This Saturday October 27th at Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater
An eccentric and an outsider, photographer Mike Disfarmer took portraits of the residents of Heber Springs, Arkansas, in the 1940s, chronicling heartland Americas working poor.
Inspired by these arresting portrayals of postwar rural life, guitar genius Bill Frisell created an evening of new compositions.
His atmospheric and innovative musical language offers a perfect complement to the photographers images dissolving across multiple screens framing onstage.
Disfarmer: A Biography
by Richard B. Woodward
It’s a puzzle that Mike Meyer, better known as Mike Disfarmer, fell into this gregarious profession and a miracle that he succeeded at it, for most reports indicate that he lacked even basic social skills. The people in the small town of Heber Springs, Arkansas, where he made photographic portraits for more than forty years, remember neither the places he worked nor the man himself as attractive. For a good part of his life (1884-1959) he seems to have been more feared than liked. Click here to read more
This text is excerpted from Richard B. Woodward’s essay “ American Metamorphosis: Disfarmer and the Art of Studio Photography” in the book Disfarmer: The Vintage Prints.