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Silver 2020 Portfolio / Personal

A Country Boy Can'T Survive

  • Photographer
    Fred Mitchell
  • Prize
    Silver in Portfolio / Personal

These images collected over the past twelve years began with the realization that I would soon depart my childhood home. I felt it imperative to record what shaped my upbringing. This notion has persisted after I moved, and thus is ongoing. For some time, this work has haunted me. I was overwhelmed to relive my formative years. Now as an adult, while I continue to make these images I can see the details that I was compelled to record. I feel a sense of longing & loneliness but also the urgency & awareness that was part of childhood. Now these pictures allow me an ephemeral return home.

Technically speaking Fred Mitchell is legally blind, but through the miracle of optometry this German born artist was gifted the ability of sight. The youngest of three, he was raised by the daughter of a failed country music singer. Early on he dreamed to be a writer until he realized the amount of attention required. Naturally Fred devised the obvious fallback to become a professional rollerblader. Unfortunately, he lacked necessary coordination. Instead he studied and receive his BFA and MFA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas respectively.